Flying towards to EN 1406525 July 2017
Blue Dragon laundry, predominately serving the private healthcare sector, has achieved EN 14065. Here, managing director William Orford, describes the journey to certification to TSA’s Gillian Farrar
Blue Dragon, under the aegis of William Orford, grandson of the founder, who has been managing director of the laundry business since 1999, along with Colin Hill, managing director, drycleaning.Their laundry market is predominantly private healthcare, with some hospitality contracts. This year, Blue Dragon achieved certification from Centre for Assessment for British Standard EN 14065 Risk and Bio-Contamination control.
William Orford explains: “We saw the requirement for bio-contamination control standards coming into the market around five years ago, led by the NHS, and felt it was only a matter of time before the private healthcare market followed suit. To stay competitive, we needed a recognised system in place that we could put forward as evidence to any procurement teams when bidding for contracts. We didn’t see the business need for ISO 9001 but felt that EN 14065 was a suitable system to implement.
“The biggest barrier to entry for the standard is workflow and building constraints. With risk and bio-contamination control, you need to show a separation of areas between clean and dirty work with critical control points along the way. Thankfully, our building enabled separate areas without having to move too much around or build any new walls.
“We appointed production manager Rakesh Baden as project owner working closely with Steve Anderton of LTC Worldwide to implement the systems and processes to meet standard specification.
“Increasingly stringent safety standards have become a must and it is no surprise that the industry’s customers have followed suit. Traceability and reporting evidence are now a part of modern safety standards. Implementing a standard such as the Risk and Bio-Contamination Control standard won’t have an enormous impact on the quality of the product, as the quality is already in the current processes but it will protect against any false accusations and provide a safety net.
“This has become a requirement within the healthcare markets for any customer purchasing through a procurement company. The general feeling across the industry is that the control standard will influence the hospitality markets over the next five to 10 years. Monitoring the wash process through temperature is the best way to gain meaningful data as it can be easily measured.
Orford notes a downfall to the current standard (2016) because it lacks parameters for the process boundaries. However, TSA, in conjunction with the Technical Standards Knowledge Network, is writing guidance notes to be released later this year.
“TSA reached out to an auditing company, Centre for Assessment, which has now been trained in EN 14065 and is developing further laundry-specific services.
“Blue Dragon was the first company to be audited by Centre for Assessment and found the company to be helpful, clear, open and honest. They arrived onsite to undertake a pre-audit assessment and ended up passing Blue Dragon during that visit rather than revisiting (with cost incurred). A good working partner to have,” says Orford.
His advice to anyone starting on this journey to certification would be to ensure you have a project owner; be aware of the investment required – for cage disinfection machines, lorry disinfections and so on; allow time for the project owner to undertake the large amount of admin required; and be aware of the factory layout and how that will affect your processes.