us have the experience of travelling on
aeroplanes and are impressed by the
cleanliness and orderliness of the
cabin; this is the result of the hard
work from behind the scene by the
dedicated cabin cleaners.
Aircraft cabin cleaning
is a unique type of cleaning work
characterised by a high concentration of
physical activities with both time and
space restrictions. This high risk
activity for cleaners can result in
musculoskeletal injuries. Of the
injuries sustained by our cleaners, data
clearly showed manual handling of
blankets was a significant hazard.
Blanket management on
board the aircraft involves collecting
used blankets and distributing clean
blankets – both of which requires manual
handling, sometimes up to 350 blankets
per aircraft and there could be 15-18
aircraft turns per shift.
So what could be done?
A mechanical aid to eliminate manual
handling of blankets! The innovative
‘blanket cart trolley’ was developed.
This solution transports all blankets
through an end to end process safely,
minimises the multiple manual handling
and can significantly reduce injury to
The project had a
collaborate approach with management,
H&S Reps and employee commitment to find
a working and effective system to reduce
manual handling injuries.
Using the carts is an
efficient and quicker way of
collecting/disbursing blankets on-board
the aircraft. Carts vs. current practice
– carts take a quarter of the time to
The cleaners remarked
how relatively strain - free using the
carts were and commented how fresh they
still felt after using the carts.
Storage of the carts
in the cleaning truck was a lot tidier,
and left a lot more space to store other
things. A winning improvement and well