Textile and Laundry in Hotel Industry by D. K. Aggarwal

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Textile and Laundry in Hotel Industry
By D. K. Aggarwal
Textile and Laundry in Hotel Industry

Table of Contents
1. Hotel Laundry Operations
2. Essential Tips for Laundry Management
3. Responsibilities of Laundry Manager
4. Cleaning and Stain Removal
5. Table Cloths and Napkins
6. Use of Carpets and Pads
7. Carpet Installation
8. Carpet Maintenance
9. Uses and Cleaning of Rugs
10. Selection and Maintenance of Curtains
11. Maintenance of Bedding

HOTEL LAUNDRY OPERATIONS
Hotel laundry is divided into two operations done by two separate groups of workers. Sorting, washing and drying towels is completed by one group of two workers. Drying (except for towels) and folding is completed by another group of six workers.

SORTING AND WASHING
In hotel, housekeepers use a laundry chute to get the dirty linen from the upstairs down to the laundry area. The sorting and washing operation involves the following:

— sorting laundry
— loading bins which weigh 60 pounds of dry laundry, and 120 pounds when wet
— transporting (pushing/pulling) bins to washer
— loading washer
— unloading washer
— transporting (pushing/pulling) bins to dryer (towels only)
— loading dryer with towels
— unloading towels from the dryer

In one eight-hour shift, 20 bins of laundry are processed by two workers (Figure 1.). The dry laundry is handled four times (60 lbs x 4 handlings x 20 bins = 4,800 lbs); the wet laundry is handled twice (120 lbs x 2 handlings x 20 bins = 4,800 lbs). The workload is distributed evenly, so each worker handles approximately 4,800 lbs or 2,200 kg of laundry every day.

The handling of the laundry requires the use of considerable force:

— pulling laundry from the pile under the chute Pulling laundry pulling laundry from the pile under the chute
— loading laundry into the washer
— pulling wet laundry from the washer

These movements are particularly stressful on the hands, wrists and shoulders.

Handling the laundry requires whole body motions beyond acceptable ranges. Reaching above the shoulder, bending to the floor and twisting are examples. In addition, the job is carried out while standing on a concrete floor which adds stress to the feet and legs as well as to the rest of the body. Carrying out the sorting and washing tasks can be hazardous to the workers.

There are three major risk factors:

— The heavy work load (handling over 2 tonnes of laundry per shift) combined with bodily motions beyond safe ranges create risk for back injuries.
— Frequent and forceful movements (while pulling/pushing the laundry) and forceful grips create a high risk for wrist and other upper limb injuries.
— Working while standing/walking on a hard floor creates the risk for lower leg discomfort, and accelerates the development of fatigue.

These factors have a compounding effect. In other words, each of them increases the effect of the others.

DRYING AND FOLDING
There are three workstations at which five different tasks are performed:

— feeding the rolling dryer with small pieces of laundry
— feeding the rolling dryer with large pieces of laundry
— retrieving small pieces of laundry from the rolling dryer
— retrieving large pieces of laundry from the rolling dryer
— folding towels

As an example, to feed the roller dryer with small laundry such as pillow cases, a worker performs the following tasks:

— reaching for the laundry in the bin
— unfolding and stretching the laundry
— spreading the laundry on rollers

To feed the dryer with laundry such as bed sheets, two workers form a team. This task involves the following:

— reaching for bedsheets in the bin
— unfolding the bedsheets
— spreading the bedsheets
— spreading the bedsheets on rollers

Several aspects of feeding the dryer with both small and large pieces of laundry pose the risks for repetitive motion injuries. Workers are at a high risk for upper arm, neck and shoulder injuries because of limited control over the pace of work, highly repetitious movements (one task lasts approximately 3 to 8 seconds), working with arms at or above shoulder level, and hand manipulation while handling the laundry.

Bending and twisting, reaching forward and upward, and standing in a leaning-forward position contribute to low back pain. Prolonged standing on a hard floor contributes to lower leg discomfort and speeds up the development of muscular fatigue. All of these factors have a compounding effect. In other words, each of them increases the effect of the others.

RETRIEVING PIECES OF LAUNDRY To retrieve small laundry such as pillow cases from the regular dryer a worker performs the following tasks:

— reaching forward to pick up the laundry
— folding laundry

To retrieve big pieces of laundry such as bedsheets, which come out of the dryer partially folded, a worker performs the following movements:

— bending and reaching for the bedsheet
— folding the bedsheet
— piling the bedsheet

Workers involved in retrieving small pieces of laundry are at risk for repetitive motion injuries. The hazardous conditions are:

— no control over pace of work
— repetitive movements
— constrained work posture
— leaning forward standing position
— reaching forward beyond recommended range
— working with extended arms
— standing on a hard floor

The lack of control over the pace of work, highly repetitious movements, constrained work posture. Neck, shoulders and upper arms are at the highest risk for injuries. Leaning forward, over-reaching and prolonged standing in a restricted position put workers at high risk for low back injury.

Prolonged standing on a hard floor contributes to lower leg discomfort and speeds up the development of muscular fatigue. All of these factors have a compounding effect. In other words, each of them increases the effect of the others. Workers involved in retrieving big pieces of laundry are at risk for repetitive motion injuries, including low back pain. The hazardous conditions are:


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