The purpose of the Award is to recognize the individual or team within an aviation organization in the Australasian region and the employing company who has made a significant contribution to aviation ground safety within his/her organisation or to the industry as a whole.

This award is conducted annually. The AAGSC ground safety award nominations and winners will be promoted through the AAGSC member organizations, the AAGSC website and various organization internal publications. The ground safety award nominations where possible will also be promoted in industry related publications.

The winner of the 2014 AAGSC Safety Award is -

Air New Zealand Amenities Team Auckland International Airport, New Zealand
2014 AAGSC Safety Award Winners

Background to Nomination

Most of 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 staff.

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 unload/load.

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 deserved!

Keith Butler attended an Air New Zealand Health & Safety team building day on 17 Dec & presented the AAGSC Safety Award for 2014 to Robin Cooper, Air NZ International Airports Manager who in turn presented it to one of the project team members, Tracy Warboys.

Pictured is from left to right: Catherine Giles (AAGSC Secretary & Air NZ Safety & Employee Wellbeing Manager), Tracy Warboys, Keith Butler (AAGSC Chairperson & Menzies Aviation Health, Safety & Security Manager) & Robin Cooper.