Laundry Management Standards

A residential aged care facility must meet occupational health and safety standards with its laundry service.

Building and Equipment

Design and construction of the laundry premises, fittings, and equipment must be vermin proof

A documented and audited pest control programme must be available for inspection

Ensure wastewater effluent parameters are defined, and test results are available for inspection

Outlets draining effluent wastewater from the washing machines must be sealed (close piped) into the disposal system to prevent the spread of infection into the air

The laundry design should prevent clean linen from being contaminated by soiled linen; a separation barrier of at least two meters and or adequate mechanical ventilation is required to minimise the risk of cross-contamination

Mobile linen trolleys are cleaned regularly and serviced to ensure that wheels rotate freely

Other linen transportation, such as sorting skips, are designed for easy cleaning and are regularly cleaned and maintained in good working order

An audit process should be in place to ensure equipment is being cleaned as per the schedule and must be available for inspection

Appropriate location and provision of washrooms and change rooms should be available

Flyscreens or high voltage illuminated insect traps must be provided in the sorting, soiled and cleaned linen storage areas

Laundry Management

Train all employees regularly in infection prevention and control practices, including hand hygiene techniques, appropriate use of PPE, and applicable standard and transmission-based precautions

Record and keep employee training programmes 

Trained employees should do regular inspections of the laundry to ensure that the requirements of standards are maintained

The routine laundry cleaning programme must be documented, signed off, and available for inspection; the programme includes the cleaning of walls, ceilings, and exposed pipework

Regularly audit laundry cleaning, and make audits available for inspection

Wash formula records must be kept for each wash programme and should specify the following

Type of linen to be washed

Wash programme

Type of operation

Duration of each operation

Water level (dip)

Water temperature

Chemicals and their dosage

Machine type

A programme for the preventative maintenance and calibration of all laundry equipment must be in place to ensure their safe operation in terms of water level controls, temperature controls, and timer controls

Audited programmes that record and monitor all key laundry processes, temperature compliance, and defined indicators should be in place with available records

Confine the consumption of food and drink to designated areas

Vaccination against hepatitis A and B is to be available to all employees handling soiled linen, including post-vaccination testing (where available)

A register of vaccination records should be available for inspection


Dirty and clean linen must have separately allocated skips

Use leakproof bags to store and transport wet and soiled linen

Soiled linen and clothing must not go on the floor to prevent cross-infection

Sort used linen into colour-coded linen bags at the point of generation

Ensure all linen is covered for transport to reduce opportunities for cross-contamination

The transport linen skips must have a documented and audited cleaning and sanitising programme

Mobile linen trolleys must secure linen firmly inside 

Linen must not be rinsed or sluiced as this can cause cross-contamination

Regular quality checks to monitor safe and effective laundry practices are to be done

Infection Prevention Equipment and Supplies

Alcohol-based hand rub/sanitiser, to be placed in all areas to encourage employees to perform regular hand hygiene

Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be provided and worn when handling and sorting soiled linen to prevent the transmission of organisms

Facility Management

Educate employees on minimising employee movement from dirty to clean linen areas. If movement is necessary between clean and dirty linen, employees must be instructed to change their outer protective clothing and perform hand hygiene.

A transit zone should be provided between dirty and clean laundry areas where hand washing or sanitising occurs

When leaving the soiled area of the laundry, educate employees to remove outer protective garments and thoroughly wash their hands

Educate on the careful handling of bags containing soiled linen to avoid damage and the release of possible contaminated aerosols into the air

Facilities should provide areas to change outer garments

Education and Training

The laundry manager must know the potential infectious hazards of soiled linen

Provide regular education to laundry employees about potential infectious hazards, infection prevention and control interventions, and safe and appropriate handling procedures for soiled and clean linen

Employees must be instructed on the importance of personal hygiene, particularly hand hygiene, after handling soiled linen or removing protective clothing

Instruction must be given to laundry employees to report all infections, such as gastroenteritis, dermatitis, pustules, skin lesions, boils, etc., and they must seek immediate medical attention if symptoms present