Airport Housekeeping

Chapter – 8

Airport House Keeping



Good housekeeping is important for everyone’s safety. Safety at the workplace can be maintained when the workplace is neat, clean, and orderly with fewer possibilities of accidents and hazards. Good housekeeping habits help in eliminating hazards.

This lesson emphasizes the need and importance of good housekeeping in an airport and also provides an insight into good housekeeping responsibilities and practices, Good housekeeping is the foundation of an effective accident prevention program, which helps in identifying and eliminating housekeeping hazards. Let us take a look at this topic in detail.

Benefits of Good Housekeeping

A clean, neat and orderly workplace is a safe workplace. Housekeeping services are designed to improve the indoor environment in the workplace, but they can also degrade it if not performed properly.

Good housekeeping provides the following benefits:

  • Eliminates accidents and fire hazards
  • Maintains safe, and healthy work conditions
  • Saves time, money, materials, space, and effort
  • Improves productivity and quality
  • Boosts morale
  • Reflects a well-run organization
  • Aids in finding the things needed

Costs of Poor Housekeeping

Accidents caused by poor housekeeping practices have often endangered lives or caused damage to life and property.

The most common hazards of poor housekeeping are:

  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Fires
  • Accidents caused by Chemicals or machinery
  • Injuries from electrical problems
  • Collisions and falling objects
  • Health problems
  • Damage to tools, equipment, and materials left lying around

Developing Good Housekeeping

Good housekeeping habits protect one from injuries on the job. Therefore good housekeeping habits must be developed by:

  • Maintaining a daily checklist of housekeeping duties
  • Making time for housekeeping tasks on a daily basis
  • Evaluating workspace before starting work and looking for potential hazards that might occur such as slips, trips, falls, fires, cuts, and spills
  • Removing hazards before starting work
  • Removing and switching off running equipment while leaving the work area and cleaning it so that it is ready for the next use
  • Putting tools and equipment away in their proper place after use
  • Taking responsibility for hazards even if they are present in a different workplace and were not created by you
  • Eliminating and reporting all hazards

In order to remove hazards before starting work the following precaution must be taken:

  • Clean up spills.
  • Repair leaks.
  • Remove debris and waste material
  • Wear slip resistant shoes
  • Remove objects and tools lying on the ground
  • Put away tools and electrical cords you don’t need
  • Keep drawers closed
  • Cleanup waste materials and dispose of them properly.
  • Put away electrical cords and air hoses
  • Avoid stacking items in walkways
  • Be careful while carrying objects.

Preventing slips requires a little time and effort, along with a strong will to go that extra mils, as it may prevent accidents and injuries to someone around you. It is important to report the problem immediately and place a barrier around the affected area in case one cannot handle the slip.

Special training and equipment are required to clean up hazardous chemical spills. Clean up spills of water, oil, or other liquids use paper towels for water use special absorbent wipes for oil and other chemicals. Plastic on a concrete floor can be very hazardous and must be removed immediately. Some granular particles can act just like liquid spills on the floor and cause a slip and fall. Slip-resistant shoes help prevent a fall on a slippery surface.

Fire Prevention

Good housekeeping helps in preventing fires. The housekeeping practices required to prevent fire are:

  • Storing flammable and combustible liquids in proper approved flammable liquid containers
  • Keeping the containers closed
  • Storing reactive chemicals away from one another
  • Preventing the accumulation of combustibles
  • Keeping combustibles away from electrical equipment and hot machinery

Approved flammable liquid containers prevent igniting the liquids stored in them by ignition sources. Reactive materials produce a lot of heat  when mixed. This could cause reactive materials to  spontaneously combust. These materials must be stored separately. Combustibles such as paper, cardboard, wooden pallets, or rags should not be accumulated as a fire can start and spread rapidly. They must be placed away from ignition sources. To prevent fires, it is important to keep combustible materials such as dust and grease away from electrical equipment and hot machinery.

Housekeeping Program

A housekeeping program is designed to clean the environment and maintain the safety and health of people where the program is carried out. It is more than just a cleaning program that involves:

Actions taken to prevent dirt from entering the environment and its removal if dirt is present

Choices of products and methods that minimize the introduction of contaminants into the environment

Tasks designed for health, safety and appearance

Training, negotiating, and monitoring performance

A standard cleaning program is slightly different from a housekeeping program designed to improve Internal Air Quality (IAQ).

IAO Housekeeping Program

Elements of an IAQ housekeeping program can increase or decrease Costs of the program. However, the costs of an IAQ housekeeping program are likely to be lower than any standard cleaning program for many reasons.

The IAQ program:

  • Requires more careful choice of materials, methods, and training, which increases cleaning costs.
  • Pays attention to methods of keeping dirt out and preventing cleaning which decreases cleaning costs.
  • Extends the life of carpets and furnishings due to the improved cleaning regime. This decreases the cleaning costs.

Housekeeping programs are based on a set of principles. These principles define the way in which the housekeeping programs are structured and managed to make a difference in the indoor environment.

The principles for cleaning include:

  • Clean for health and safety first, not just for appearance
  • Protect workers from hazardous working conditions.
  • Encourage participation and communication
  • Invest in people and equipment
  • Recognize the impact of cleaning wastes on the environment

Dirt, film, grime and other contaminants that can’t be seen should be cleaned regularly. They will otherwise tend to lower indoor air quality all over the building.

Protections include providing:

  • Adequate ventilation
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Proper labeling
  • Proper mixing areas
  • Proper procedures

Cleaning personnel, occupants, and contractors should participate in the development, implementation, and refinement of the program. Occupants should understand how their actions, such as generating food debris, impact the indoor environment and the cleaning process.

Cleaning personnel should be well trained. Equipment should be capable of performing the tasks that protects the indoor environment. It is important to properly handle and disposal of medical waste according to applicable codes and regulations. Regulations governing handle the disposal of non-medical hazardous materials such as chemical cleaners should also be followed.

Elements of a Housekeeping Program

A housekeeping program is a process involving more than just cleaning the building. Elements of the house keeping program are:

  • Methods to reduce the introduction of dirt into the environment to be cleaned
  • Identification of the cleaning tasks and performance requirements
  • Reassessment of cleaning products, equipments, and procedures periodically
  • Training of cleaning personnel
  • Proper mixing, disposal and storage methods
  • Provisions to protect workers from housekeeping emissions
  • Provisions for timing certain tasks to minimize occupant exposure
  • Inspection and monitoring of the cleaning process


Methods to Clean Indoor Air Quality

The following methods can be used to maintain clean indoor air quality and keep dirt out:

  • Clean outside the building to prevent outside dirt from entering the building
  • Use door mats as barriers on all entry ways, including pedestrian entrances, loading docks, and freight entrances.
  • Deep clean carpets in heavily used areas frequently, especially in entryways, as dirt accumulates and it migrates further into the building.
  • Keep dirt and other pollutants away from outdoor air intake.
  • Restrict smoking
  • Isolate interior polluting sources using exhaust fans and pressure Control.

Barrier mats are designed to trap dirt and keep it out of the building. Barrier mats should be long enough so that everyone entering the building should take at least five full steps on the mat.

Use Maximum Extractions, Minimum Polluting Equipments and Methods

Maximum Extraction, Minimum Polluting equipments and methods can be used to maintain clean indoor air quality.

  • To use such equipments and methods one must:
  • Thoroughly vacuum using high efficiency filtration bags
  • Deep clean carpets at regular intervals.
  • Use only floor machines with vacuum capability.
  • Avoid carpet treatments with sticky residues.
  • Use lint free dusting cloths. Avoid dusters that don’t capture dust (Feather dusters).
  • Cover top of dust mops with dust cloths to avoid passing dust over the mop
  • Avoid aerosol sprays.
  • Use toggle top chemical dispen sers or trigger spray directly onto cloth.
  • Vacuum dust skirts on floor machines.

Choose Low Polluting Products

The choice of materials and methods is crucial to indoor Air Quality (LAQ), as housekeeping both cleans and has the potentials to pollute the indoor environment.

Therefore one can use low-polluting products such as:

  • MSDS sheets to select “environmentally preferable” products
  • Products with a moderate PH (between 5 and 9)

One can minimize the use of the following products:

  • Ammonia, chlorine, volatile acids, and other products those are corrosive, or reactive with other leaning products.
  • Aerosols or particle cleaners, as they may become airborne.

One must:

  • Thoroughly dry carpets and other porous materials after spills or wet process cleaning
  • Properly mix and store housekeeping products in a ventilated room or closet

One can follow the protocol for storing any chemical product in room or closet exhausted to the outside and under negative pressure, with no opening to the return air plenum. Wet or damp materials are breeding ground for mold.

Training Housekeeping Personnel

Training must be imparted to all housekeeping personnel before they are required to participate in the house keeping and cleaning program

Training should include:

  • Developing an appreciation for the role the person plays in learning good housekeeping
  • Maintaining a healthy environment in addition to training on equipment, materials and methods

Monitoring Results

It is important to monitor the results of housekeeping tasks. This is to ensure that the building is kept clean, Deviations from good practices must not be accepted.

The following elements must be monitored:

  • The actual performance of tasks
  • The complaints and reactions of building occupants Records of what is cleaned, how it is cleaned, and when it is cleaned must be maintained.

Establishing a Housekeeping Program

Survey of the Building of Cleaning

A cleaning survey involves and assessment of:

  • Source of dirt
  • Areas of dirt accumulation
  • Methods to prevent dirt from entering the building
  • Cleaning needs of individual spaces


  • Assess dirt potential of pedestrian traffic, loading docks, receiving areas, and garages
  • Assess surrounding vegetation, pollen, and proper drainage around building.
  • Assess interior sources such as printing and copying rooms, kitchens eating areas, smoking areas, trash needs storage areas, carpets, furnishings and ceiling tiles.
  • Assess dirt accumulation areas such as horizontal surfaces, corners and edges, furniture, high surfaces, windows and blinds.

Establish Areas Requiring Differential Attention

The survey can be used to assess ways to prevent dirt and pollution from entering the building space.

The survey then helps assess differential cleaning needs required by each  part of the building. Areas requiring differential attentions will include:

  • Entryways lobbies
  • Bathrooms
  • Hallways and corridors
  • Kitchens and cafeterias
  • Offices


  • Benefits of Good Housekeeping
  • Cost of Poor Housekeeping
  • Developing Good Housekeeping Habits
  • Fire prevention
  • Housekeeping Program
  • IAQ Housekeeping Program
  • Elements of a Housekeeping Program
  • Methods to Clean Indoor Air Quality
  • Training Housekeeping Personnel
  • Monitoring Results
  • Establishing a Housekeeping Program