Drat That Record Keeping

If you operate a drycleaning plant anywhere in the United States, or a Coin-Op or Laundry plant it surely would be best to maintain records. Yes, I know it is a pain in the neck, but few things in your business are any more important. It seems that a person is either prone to enjoying (or not minding) paperwork or likely to ignore it. Computers have made it faster and neater but some record keeping requires hand writing, such as machine logs.

Being A Manager Today Requires Mountainous Record Keeping

Further along in this article I will list a host of items that should be given to attention in your plant. Always keep complete records. If not, it may come back and bite you. Especially in an environmental way such as no manifests or solvent records or mandated logs of poundage. I must say that all of these mountainous pounds of paper can be aggravating and intrusive. Surely, the environmental part of record keeping is the most important in today’s climate of over protection for employees. The government intrusion is not welcome. But you can be sure that if you don’t record anything you do or say, you may be subject to lawsuits. Being a manager today requires a lot of bookkeeping and record keeping. For the larger plants a special person is needed for that voluminous job.

Any Solvent Requires Records If You Want To Play It Smart

A full and total disclosure of all records will probably keep you out of trouble with the inspectors or any future changes such as a family interest in your plant or the selling of your business. Employee contracts are a huge responsibility and must be kept up-to-date. Naturally each state and district EPA will have their own requirements. Environmental record keeping that is not kept up-to-date, poor disposal methods with contaminated drycleaning plants, water in still or recovery solvent, still waste, which is lint from your dryer on the D/C machine or anything that has had contact with the solvent you use. Naturally, there are some solvents today that do not require this. Be aware that no matter what you are told, ANY solvent requires records if you want to play it smart.

A short list of environmental and other record keeping items would be as such:

• Regularly review your site records and plant history.

• Make note of national, state and local records that must be kept up-to-date.

• Drycleaning machine daily records of poundage and additives.

• Solvent vapor and liquid leak checks and noted on records.

• Installation and maintenance records.

• Daily leak checks and recordings.

• Recording of solvent spills.

• Manifest and annual reports kept up-to-date.

• Check for any insurance riders.

Employee Records:

• Signatures and acceptance of company rules and requirements.

• Employees being subject to semi-annual safety meetings.

• Safety training on use of equipment.

• Records of any disciplinary actions.

• Record keeping for signature of employee indoctrination.

Some Drycleaners, Laundrymen And Coin-Op Owners Have Been Mad At The Government

These items are not always any more than suggestions. Most are state required. Don’t let anyone kid you about no records necessary with a particular machine or solvents. Play it safe and play by the rules and you will likely stay out of trouble. It is troublesome to do this with a small operation and it all sounds petty but we must “endeavor to persevere” as President Lincoln said to the Indians. Ignorance or disregard for drycleaning requirements can be dangerously expensive if you are empty handed when an inspector shows up. I know many operators who dodge these requirements with the “to hell with the Government” attitude. Being mad at government required record keeping and training is foolish. If necessary, pay someone to keep up with it. One thing I know for certain, most drycleaners will not be diligent about recording their drycleaning machine operations. Leaving this up to you, male or female drycleaner, is hopeful thinking. I have inspected hundreds of plants in the United States and my history has shown me that few drycleaners were motivated to do this. The majority of them don’t even have the time, especially if they are one-day service operators, because all their attention is focused on getting the loads out.

I hope you will understand that this list only scratches the surface of your duties as a record keeper. More is available through consultation and training.

I’m headin’ to the wagon now, these boots are killin’ me

About Kenney Slatten

Kenney Slatten Training Company is a Dry Cleaning and Laundry Consulting Firm Specializing in Environmental Training and Certification. Kenney Slatten Training Company, or KSTC, is based in Texas with offices in Arizona and California. Kenney Slatten is a certified instructor/trainer for the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI), is actively involved in the San Diego Drycleaners Association, the California Cleaners Association, is an Allied Trade board member of DLI, the Executive Director of Western States Drycleaners & Launderers Association, a member of the International Drycleaners Congress, and a columnist for American Drycleaner and Western Cleaner and Launderer magazines. The Kenney Slatten Training Company provides the only complete environmental training and inspection process. Started in 1987, Kenny became the first instructor for California E.P.A, OSHA, and state regulations. Kenney publishes a 36 point plant requirement every year in trade publications which is his guide for plant training and certification. We are the only company that provides dry cleaning and laundry specific environmental training. Kenney Slatten is a third generation drycleaner/laundryman from Houston, Texas. His company, KSTC, can teach you the skills you need to have a successful plant. His wagon is found all over the country parked under a tree just waiting for the next call to come to your plant. He can be reached at (800) 429-3990; e-mail: kslatten@aol.com or go to: www. kstraining.com.