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Survey: OSHA Call After Anonymous Complaint Is Spookiest Scenario for Dry Cleaners

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — In the spirit of Halloween, American Drycleaner asked members of the trade audience to answer which spooky scenario frightens them the most. And while there was a clear-cut No. 1 choice, every potential situation presented in the Wire survey received votes.

Top of the list—at 26.3%—was receiving a call from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) after it had received an anonymous complaint. Running a close second at 23.7% was a lengthy power outage. Third (15.8%) was “other,” including fears of going out of business and being investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Other scenarios were a key piece of equipment is out of commission (13.2%), a big customer stops using your service (10.5%), a staff member injured on the job threatens to sue (5.3%), circumstances force a 10% cut in next year’s budget (2.6%), and an audit reveals that funds are missing (2.6%).

Operators were asked about the most frightening thing to have affected their store or plant. Some of the responses were:

  • “IRS changing the locks and putting a very large sign on my door.”
  • “Delivery truck rolled over in the snow with 1,000 garments on it!”
  • “Losing a big contract with one of our vendors.”
  • “A mouse got in under the back door.”
  • “Finding an intruder inside the factory looking at my machines.”
  • “(An) employee pull(ed) a press down on her hand.”
  • “The poor appearance and dress standards that prevail today with no end in sight.”

The U.S. economy’s recent peaks and valleys have rivaled those of the scariest roller coaster. So, what is operators’ outlook for 2012? Approximately 23% believe the economy will be better. The largest share—35%—believes it will be about the same. Thirty percent believe it will be worse, and 12.5% are unsure.

While the Wire survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific.

Subscribers to Wire e-mails—distributed twice weekly—are invited to take the industry survey anonymously online each month. All dry cleaners are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.

To sign up for the Wire, click the “Subscriptions” button at the top right-hand corner of this page and follow the instructions.

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.

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