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E Publisher cum Editor Rajneesh Sharma Associate Editor Swarnendu Biswas Feature Editor Kanishka Gupta Resident Editor Sharmila Chand (Delhi) Ashok Malkani (Mumbai) Sub-Editor Tapapriya Lahiri Layout & Design Hari Kumar. V Narender Kumar Photographer Mahendra Singh Mehta Production Assistant Mamta Sharma Advertising Sales Mumbai: Rajesh Tupsakhre Subscription Sales Dattaram Gangurde Director Sales Sanjay Anand Director Operations & Finance Rajat Taneja Editorial & Advertising Offices: Delhi: Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd. 1202, Pragati Tower, 26, Rajindra Place, New Delhi-110008 Phone: 45084903, 25854103 / 05 Mumbai: Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd. 105, 1st Floor, Aarpee Centre, Gufic Compound, 11th Road, MIDC, Near Tunga Paradise, Andheri (E), Mumbai-400 093 Ph.: 91-22-28395833 Telefax: 91-22-28388947 Website: E-mail: © 2012 Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd.

Clean & Hygiene Review is a bi-monthly magazine, printed, owned and published by Rajneesh Sharma from 313, Himgiri Apartments, J-Block, Vikaspuri, New Delhi. Printed at Print Creations, C-112/3, Basement, Naraina Industrial Area, Phase-1, New Delhi-110 028. Annual Subscription rate within India is Rs. 450 and overseas US $110, for surface mail. Single issue is available for Rs.90 in India and US $25 overseas. Cheques are payable to Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd.









The importance of cleaning in our society, or for that matter in any modern society, simply cannot be overemphasised. If the hotel’s restrooms are not clean and are not spruced with regular sanitary amenities, its wonderful architecture and classy bar are not likely to induce you to visit the property again. If the mall is not maintained spic and span, its impressive shopping options may fail to impress you. And who would want to visit any untidy hospital if given the choice, and thereby jeopardise one’s health or facilitate to aggravate one’s existing illness? We need clean toilets for our school going child/children, along with a clean environment without the threats of indoor air pollution looming over their heads. Similarly in a tourist place, dumps of industrial waste in the vicinity of beautiful scenery can mar its beauty and the tourists’ health. Even in a cinema hall, the seats stained with beetle leaf juice can cause repulsion. The examples can go on and on… Succinctly, given the choice, we always prefer to be associated with a clean property, environment or society, but sadly we face filth and waste rampantly in our day-to-day lives in India. We need not only to bolster our inadequate and dilapidated sanitation infrastructure to address the crying need for cleanliness in our society, but also need to supplement it with an army of qualified, trained, dedicated and well-paid housekeeping personnel in general and clean & hygiene personnel in particular. At present, there is a sheer paucity of skilled manpower in the purview of housekeeping and facility management operations in India. Moreover, the prevailing ignorant attitude of the society towards clean & hygiene operations, and its apathetic treatment to the clean & hygiene workers need a significant improvement. The governments, corporates and the civil society must work concertedly and in tandem to address these issues, if we sincerely want to move towards a clean and green society. At the same time, both the Union and the state governments should generate greater awareness and provide more infrastructural facilities towards the concerns of feminine hygiene, which is appalling in India. More stringent legislative measures towards e-waste and industrial waste recycling and disposal, and effective implementation of the existing laws pertaining to the disposal of biomedical waste are also the needs of the hour. In our Cover Story of this annual issue, we have attempted to explore the myriad challenges towards attaining cleanliness in the society and probed on what are the factors that are impeding our clean & hygiene industry to translate its growth potential to a welcome reality. We hope the exhaustive exercise would interest our readers. In this cosmetic as well as relatively environment-friendly age(than say ten years ago), the role of glass in buildings has assumed great aesthetic and utilitarian influences, and thus the role of glass cleaning is now an extremely important facet of modern day facility management operations. In our Business Story we have looked into various trends in glass cleaning, with focus on high rises, as high rises are becoming a regular feature of our metropolitan skylines. Besides these, the annual issue is spruced with our regular and as well as additional features, which have together attempted to cover the evolving and challenging Indian housekeeping industry quite comprehensively. I hope the endeavour would benefit the readers from the industry as well as readers who want to enter this industry or are interested in its dynamics.

Editorial Policy : Editorial emphasis in Clean & Hygiene Review magazine is on educational & informational material specifically designed to assist those responsible for managing cleaning & maintenance, Laundry, Pest Control, Water & Waste Management and Environment. Articles are welcome and will be published on the sole discretion of the editor.


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An Initiative Towards Clean India In India, poor sanitation and hygiene is an unending discussion without a proper solution to curb it down or eliminate it. There is a wealth of medical evidence suggesting that high incidence of malnutrition is directly influenced by poor sanitation and hygiene. In this context, the Department of Rural Development, Drinking Water and Sanitation has launched the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Initiative). Jairam Ramesh, the Union Minister of Rural Development is in charge of this initiative. To start with, the Government has allocated Rs 3,500 crore for the rural sanitation programme for 2012-13. For the 12th plan period, the allocation would be Rs 35,000 crore According to Jairam Ramesh, the ‘Abhiyan’ stands out for four significant reasons. Firstly, it focuses on Gram Panchayats, secondly, the financial assistance to families for setting up toilets with no standard design being prescribed has been increased from Rs 3,500 to Rs 10,000. Then there will be no APL/BPL distinction for selecting eligible families under this scheme. And lastly, the promotion of liquid/solid water management systems is being planned. Recently, the Minister has also introduced a ‘biodigester’ in Orissa using Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) technology. This would address the issue of mobile sanitation.

A Holy Tank Turning to Cesspool The sacred tank of Venugopalaswami Temple in Mysore, located at the Tekal circle, is now a cesspool of filth. During the Venugopalaswami Teppotsav, the place attracts a plethora of devotees, as it is a sacred tank. Even the temple trust is not putting any great effort to clean it up. It is said a commercial complex will come up on the site; perhaps therefore no effort is being made to instill cleanliness into it. It is learnt that the trust is continually gaining support from neighbouring traders in covering the tank with waste materials to facilitate the coming of a commercial complex on the land. Devotees visiting the temple apprehend that the pollutants might spill on to road after the outbreak of monsoons. The Deputy Commissioner Manoj Kumar Meena had set an action plan to restore the tank, but nothing has been implemented yet. He had put up a hoarding in the vicinity of the tank, clearly mentioning punishment to those spoiling the tank, but the polluters seem to be not impressed with such deterrents. The district administration has begun to take measures to revive water bodies in the district but is offering a Nelson’s eye towards the dying tank, which happens to be in the middle of the city.

Wear a Pair of Green Denim The word green or the colour green now reflects environment friendliness. Nowadays the healthy fashion of being eco-friendly has spread into fashion to. Recently, Bangalore-based designer Deepika Govind has come up with ‘Denim Green,’ which happens to be an organic denim collection for men and women. Denim Green comprises a limited edition of hand-oven denim collection made of organic cotton, where original craftsmanship and looms dating centuries ago have been used. The collection also comprises a selection of denims manufactured through semi-automised power looms. The organic denim collection by the designer includes handcrafted jeans for men and women, tops, short dresses and a selection of bags. The organic denim is manufactured through a wet process in a plain rinse wash with a simple enzyme, which is not baneful to the environment. Besides, this process uses very less water. The dying process of this eco-friendly denim collection is 100 percent natural where natural organic indigo is extracted directly from the indigo plant and then the cotton is dyed by hand in a chemical free process having little use of electricity. The fabric is then sun dried, endowing the denim with a wonderful array of blues. Deepika also has a white denim range in organic cotton, which is bleach-free.


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Tamil Nadu Gearing Up for ‘Clean India’ Drive To make Tamil Nadu’s tourist spots spic and span, the state government has planned to launch the ‘Campaign Clean India’ soon. About Rs. 5 crore has been allocated for taking up a huge campaign across the state. For ensuring that this campaign becomes a success, the Tamil Nadu government would engage the district collectors, schools and colleges, besides certain government departments to keep the tourism destinations clean and hygienic. The private sector would also be included in this campaign. According to the sources, the campaign would be taken up at Marina beach, Besant Nagar beach, certain important temples and heritage centres of the state, waterfalls, hill stations and boating areas. The measures will be taken to generate awareness on taking up solid waste management projects in such places. Students and various organisations would be involved in spreading awareness among the public, especially among the tourists, on maintaining the tourist spots of Tamil Nadu clean and hygienic.

West Bengal on a Natural Fibre Mission

The West Bengal government is actualising an ambitious welfare project named ‘Natural Fibre Mission’ which is expected to facilitate uplifting the financial conditions of the poorest artisans in the most backward regions of the state. This rural livelihood generation programme will not only give an impetus to the growth of the natural fibres, which are found abundantly throughout the state, but will also foster traditional skills. The programme will be approached through a cluster development. The Mission endeavours to produce different value added products from available natural fibres across 11 backward districts of West Bengal. The Centre has already approved the Natural Fibre Mission under the Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF), for which Rs. 247 crore has been sanctioned. According to the State Cottage and Small Scale Industries’ Minister, Manas Bhuniya, this is possibly for the first time that a state has conceptualised a mission that will help promote the natural fibres. The natural fibres that will be used under the project are jute, bamboo, coir, mat, sabai grass, cotton and silk. The programme will not only aim to develop the skill of artisans, but also supply them with tools and equipment. Besides, there will also be creation of common production centre and common facility centre. A common natural fibre centre is proposed to come up at Kharagpur in West Bengal. The cottage and small scale department has already received Rs. 89 crore, which the Centre has sent as part of this project and another project. Under the other project, rural haats will come up in different parts of West Bengal. One can easily decipher that the National Fibre Mission, besides helping the poor artisans of the state of West Bengal is geared to do a yeomen service to the state’s environment.

CCL to Make Mines Ecofriendly

In the near future, we may have environment-friendly coal mines. The Central Coalfields Limited (CCL), a subsidiary of Coal India Limited, is making endeavours to make its mines and washries environment-friendly in the coming years. Most of the mining companies give very little importance to environment safety and hardly take any proactive measure to preserve the greenery around. According to a spokesperson of CCL, at CCL’s mines not only special care is taken to protect and preserve the old tress but also thousands of trees are planted near the mines in order to safeguard the environment. Recently, CCL’s Urimari and Tapin opencast mines have been given three ISO certifications of 9000, 14000 and OHSAS 18001, which is a rare feat in the Indian coal industry. The OHSAS certification is given for occupational health and safety and ISO 9000 and 14000 are for quality and environment management system respectively. In the current financial year, the organisation is working on plans to get ISO certification for its Rajrappa and Swang washeries and for its Govindpur opencast mine.


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Eco Initiatives at The Imperial Innovative Floor Cleaning with A hotel which ensures conservation of water, TASKI fuel and energy and has systems in place to reduce, reuse and recycle waste is considered a green hotel. Some of the green practices at The Imperial New Delhi include ensuring conservation of water, fuel and energy and having systems in place to reduce, reuse and recycle waste. On the World Environment Day, The Imperial New Delhi inaugurated the solar panels for heating water in guest rooms, which are extremely efficient in terms of saving energy, emit less carbon and thereby are environment friendly. Here, at The Imperial New Delhi, suppliers are asked to reduce packaging material and recycle paper and send waste to recyclers. The recycling initiatives also include processing of all printed stationary for notes, and internal posters. Taking lots of green initiatives, the Imperial New Delhi is also looking forward to install biogas plants for effective waste management and for generating eco-friendly gas for cooking. This will in turn also reduce carbon emission into the environment. The property has a plan to replace the coal fired tandoor with the semi-automatic chapatti machine run by natural gas, which in turn will reduce tonnes of carbon emission into the environment. This is probably the capital’s only hospitality property where, Earth Hour is being followed every week wherein lights are switched off in many areas of the hotel for one hour.

Sealed Air’s Diversey Business has launched its new line of TASKI by Diversey floor care machines and state-of-theart cleaning technologies at an event called ‘Innovate to Excel.’ The new line of TASKI machines features a robust and durable design with long-lasting components, and has been built to meet specific needs in various sectors such as building care, retail, hospitality, industrial and healthcare sectors in local environments. Backed by more than 50 years of innovation, proven technology, superior manufacturing and reliability, the TASKI machines are expected to deliver superior floor care performance, efficiency and safety while reducing environmental impact. Diversey’s comprehensive TASKI floor care portfolio ranges from scrubber driers and single-disc machines to dry/wet vacuums and carpet care solutions. Combined with the company‘s expertise in utensils, chemicals, dosing and dispensing, and coupled with a nation-wide after-sales service and support network, the TASKI portfolio delivers to customers a total integrated solution that provides superior cleaning performance for all floor care needs. When compared with conventional floor care machines, TASKI machines reduce cleaning time by up to 15 percent and improve productivity up to 40 percent by eliminating repeat cleaning, incorrect dosing and backtracking to pick up excess water. A key feature is the patented IntelliFlow® system which is the only technology in the world that dispenses the right amount of cleaning solution and water onto the floor according to the speed of the machine, reducing the consumption of water and chemicals by up to 50 percent. On the launch event, Himanshu Jain, Vice President, Indian Subcontinent, Sealed Air, said, “The TASKI range of solutions is well-known in the industry and is the preferred solution across the whole spectrum of the Indian marketplace. To meet our customers’ specific needs, we have built on the TASKI legacy further by developing a new line of machines in Asia, for Asia. India is a strategic market in our strategy to drive the development of new innovations in the region.” Key Features of the TASKI Floor Machines Include: • Patented V-shape and W-shape squeegee system that provides superior drying capability by picking 99 percent of water from edge to edge; • Ergonomic designs that reduce user fatigue, improving employee productivity; and • Simplified, colour-coded parts for easy maintenance.


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Facilitating Cleaning and Housekeeping Solutions


ith the growth of the Indian economy buoyed by the service sector, the outsourcing of cleaning solutions and facility management has become a widespread trend across hospitality, retail and infrastructure sector. This has led to the emergence of a plethora of facility management solution providers. Some of them provide international standards of cleaning and housekeeping services, which is facilitating the businesses to focus on their core competencies. Walsons Facility Solutions Pvt. Ltd. is one such company which offers comprehensive and integrated facility management solutions across the country and caters to a diverse customer base and various industry segments. It is an ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004, and OHSAS 18001:2007 certified company. Walsons Facility Solutions has its clientele across various sectors which include telecom, banking & finance, education, power, retail, hospitality, health among others and also caters to government institutes. With the rapid development and growth of outsourcing business, Walsons Facility Solutions Pvt. Ltd. has carved a niche in the domain of facility management by providing premium quality services and by adopting best practices of the service industry. Within a short period of 16 months since its inception, Walsons Facility Solutions Pvt. Ltd. has achieved widespread presence across India through its four regional and 18 branch offices. Its range of soft services


includes housekeeping & janitorial services, horticulture services, pest control services, waste management services, and hospitality services. This exhaustive range of soft housekeeping services provided by Walsons are complemented by an impressive array of hard services by the company, which include HVAC (operations & maintenance), water supply management, drainage management, building management services among others. Besides, the company does provide road and beach cleaning services. Walsons Facility Solutions also provide a range of corporate services, among them warehouse management services is very much relevant to clean & hygiene industry. The specialised services provided by the company include floor care such as buffing and refurbishing, window cleaning and façade cleaning, carpet and upholstery shampooing, and spring cleaning. The team at Walsons Facility Solutions also has rich experience in installing, maintaining, and reading the electricity and water meters, related to power and water sector. One of its functions in this regard is that of energy auditing, which green buildings can find to be of much help. Walsons Facility Solutions has role in the telecom sector too by way of O&M services, diesel filling, site acquisition, site auditing, and erection and caretaking of the sites. To provide impeccable quality of services, you need qualified and trained personnel.

Its human resource base is one of the core strengths of Walsons Facility Solutions. The company has qualified professionals to deliver single, multi & integrated facility solutions and building maintenance services, all under one roof. Effective & tailor-made customer solutions are provided by the company, which is a member of International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) & International Facility Management Association (IFMA), to facilitate cost-efficiency. Besides these, being a national level player with footprints across the country gives the company to ability to start operations throughout the country at a short notice. Pre and post employment verification, and continual up gradation of technology, process and methods to meet the client’s growing requirements are the hallmarks of this company. Walsons Facility Solutions believes not only in hiring qualified and skilled professionals but also in continual training of its employees on the latest techniques, about safety at work place and on soft skills. Training is monitored centrally and a team of trainers move across the company’s client locations to impart training. The need of training is accessed through a training audit process which is continual in nature. Furthermore, a team of professionals also evaluate the effectiveness of the training imparted by the company, and its impact on the skills and knowledge enhancement of the company’s employees.

May-June ’12

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COVER S T O R Y The modern day cleaning industry influences a host of other industries. Without modern day cleaning solutions, it is difficult or rather impossible for the hospitality industry, the healthcare sector, the education sector and even the retail sector to thrive in this post-modern age. On a broader scale, without basic cleaning it is impossible for the society to function properly. Housekeeping which rests on the edifice of cleaning, helps in a great way to build and enhance the image of a property, whether be it a five-star hotel, a hospital, a school, an office, or a public toilet for that matter. Though on a micro level, cleaning solutions in India have entered the postmodern age, but on a macro level, several vast pockets of our society still lack the basic standards of cleanliness and hygiene. We must remember that cleaning is as much of a necessity as it is an attitude and unless we the stakeholders, that include the Union and the state governments, the private sector and the civil society, make a concerted effort to create a clean and hygienic environment, we cannot enter a truly clean and green age. Here Swarnendu Biswas explores the myriad dimensions and various challenges and characteristics for the Indian cleaning industry.


Cleaning Despite Bottlenecks


magine yourself as a guest at a hotel or a diner at a restaurant, or a shopper or window shopper at the mushrooming supermarkets and malls, or a parent of school going child/children, or an inmate or visitor in a hospital, or a pedestrian using a public toilet, or as a tourist visiting some tourist attractions, or simply as a passenger

in a railway or a flight… soon you wouldn’t need to imagine for chances are you are going to be or have been one among these several individuals at some point or period of time or the other.

Cleaning is Crucial The common factor is that in every case the cleanliness of the places or properties used or to be

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C O V E R STORY and ill health, and even life and death, depending upon the circumstances or properties it is applied to. A hygienic environment or a property is the product of appropriate combination of skilled cleaning techniques with its right chemicals and/or equipment, supplemented with the right attitude. Unless the techniques, tools and attitude are in place, cleaning cannot be a successful endeavour for a sustained period. The role of cleanliness or rather smart and conscientious housekeeping cannot be overemphasised in hospitals, educational institutions, public toilets and transportation facilities and its associated infrastructure. If hygiene is compromised in these places, which is being done rampantly in India, we are sure to land up in an unhealthy society both literally and metaphorically, which India is already in at places and is fast heading to at other places.

used would influence your decision. If the hotel’s bathroom is not clean or the restaurant’s plates are untidy chances are if given the choice within your affordability range, you wouldn’t visit that hotel or restaurant again; if the school doesn’t provide good cleanliness you would be worried about your child’s/children’s health and make effort to change the school; you would not want to visit a hospital where cleanliness is not omnipresent, and you would also prefer a spic and span mall, and a public toilet with at least basic hygienic considerations. Neither you would like to spoil the joy of a good scenery with litter and human waste sprawling all around. Similarly, you would not want to work in an office where walls have mold, floors have pests, and toilets have no water. If cleanliness in railways and airport are dismal, the foreign tourist arrivals can be affected in the long-run. So we can see cleanliness means not only health but also influences the health of business. Cleanliness can make the difference between roaring business and losses, productivity and absenteeism, health

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Addressing Challenges The overall state of cleanliness in India is utterly lamentable, with widespread absence of even the basic cleanliness and hygiene norms in many homes, roads, offices, commercial establishments, educational institutions, hospitality properties, and even hospitals going unchecked and uncared for. One of the challenging facets of cleaning business is the cleaning of public areas and public utilities, which in most cases are subjected to frequent and varied types of littering. The cleanliness in streets, public toilets, public parks, cinema halls, hospitals, malls, lobbies and bathrooms of hotels, etc. which involve heavy traffic on a daily basis, are difficult to achieve and perhaps still more difficult to maintain on a consistent basis, and requires an army of skilled and dedicated workforce. It requires great deal of patience and sustained hard work, especially in the context of a society where sanitation infrastructure is not adequate and civic sense is low. Specially, the streets, public toilets and government hospitals need particular attention, as most of them are in a sorry state of cleanliness. Pests often co-exist with inmates



in many hospitals of India. In order to improve the pathetic state of cleanliness of our streets, public toilets and government hospitals, our governments, corporates and NGOs not only need to make a concerted effort to bolster our by and large inadequate and dilapidated sanitation infrastructure, through provision of sleek, environmentally-friendly and yet affordable sanitation facilities targeted at teeming underprivileged millions (even as late as 2009 India did have 665 million people without toilet facilities), but should also train and develop an army of dedicated, skilled, and qualified sanitation personnel for these facilities’ day-today maintenance. Simply building of clean toilets would not help them to stay clean if the issue of their regular maintenance is not addressed by an army of housekeeping and sanitation staff. And these personnel should be well paid too, with their packages spruced with adequate social security measures, so that there is no room for disincentives in their grinding schedule to keep our streets, toilets and hospitals clean. At the same time, a culture of cleanliness must be inculcated among the society through creative advertising and informative documentaries for we should remember that ensuring cleanliness


in public places is not only the responsibility of the state or the other persons but also of each of us. Without involving the civil society on a macro scale, and the individuals within that given civil society on a micro scale, the spirit and reality of cleanliness in the society in general and public areas in particular cannot be firmly established. And without clean public areas, the spread of virulent diseases cannot be checked and the health of the society cannot be maintained.

water and drainage problem, the right disposal of solid waste is also very much necessary for ensuring a clean and hygienic society. Besides, the human and industrial waste inflicted rivers, the issues of harmful dosage of pesticide infested food products and of cooking with rampant indoor air pollution, callous recycling of heaps of e-waste, scattered piles of industrial and biomedical waste, are some of the matters of grave and urgent concern in the purview of clean & hygiene, which need to be addressed on a war footing in India. Then there is the appalling state of feminine hygiene in India, which is reflected not only through our high maternal mortality rates but also through the paucity of private sanitation facilities for women. According to a nationwide survey conducted by an NGO named Pratham, in 2009, four out of ten government primary schools in India were found to be not having the basic facility of separate toilets for girls. According to a survey carried out by the global information and measurement company AC Nielson and reviewed and endorsed by the NGO named Plan India, almost 68 percent rural women in India cannot afford even sanitary napkins. The survey revealed, not surprisingly,

Cleaning Issues There are myriad other clean & hygiene challenges which can be addressed through these threepronged measures. Unclean water and our by and large improper drainage systems, which become evident during rains, are also important clean & hygiene challenges. The sewerage system of most cities of India needs to be drastically improved. In this context, Delhi’s deplorable sewerage system calls for attention. In Delhi, a few days of heavy torrent after scorching summers hardly calls for a celebration. It frequently leads to the flooding of streets with dirty water, leading to lots of potential for dengue and other water-borne diseases, and prospects of increased air pollution due to snarling traffic jams. Besides finding comprehensive solutions to

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C O V E R STORY extremely low levels of feminine hygiene care in the country. To counter the challenge of deplorable state of feminine hygiene and other above-mentioned clean & hygiene challenges, the same three step remedies of improving the sanitation infrastructure, getting more cleaning personnel with better pay package and social security (like PF, gratuity, medical benefits, etc.) and generating more civic awareness towards cleanliness should be supplemented with a more proactive attitude of the government towards the hygiene concerns of women, and a more stringent legislation towards safe disposal of biomedical and ewaste. At the same time, we the people should make the industries more accountable for spreading the menace of industrial waste, so that another Bhopal Gas Tragedy doesn’t occur in the near future. All these require great investment and attitude, but who would bell the cat is a million dollar question. At the same time,

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removal of social ills pertaining to clean & hygiene like manual scavenging in real sense, is the need of the hour.

Outsourcing is the Key However, what is encouraging that despite the overall sorry state of sanitation scenario in India, with increasing economic growth and particularly the growth of the

hospitality sector in the country, the scope and potential for clean & hygiene industry in the country is also increasing. For example, as we are having more sleek malls, high-end schools and more fivestar and four-star hotels, the role of maintaining their classy look is also gaining demand in the economy. One can only hope that this trend would translate into better pay package, more reasonable working hours, and some social prestige for the rank and file cleaning and housekeeping professionals who seem to be doing an onerous task with very little recognition. In areas like infrastructure, education, hospitality and healthcare the growth of cleaning industry is expected to be impressive in the future days. Both in hospitality properties and branded malls, the outsourcing of cleaning business is expected to receive momentum. In fact, one of the major trends sweeping through the Indian cleaning industry is the growth of outsourcing operations, as



many corporate houses are preferring to outsource their cleaning and housekeeping activities so as to concentrate more on their core competencies instead. This has led to the emergence of a plethora of facility management companies. Outsourcing of housekeeping services in hotels, and involvement of facility management companies or personnel in cleaning of building facades of sleek offices are gaining currency. Outsourced facility management services in malls are in great demand. In the urban areas, street cleaning is also gradually being outsourced. Cleaning of some trains and railway platforms in India are also being outsourced to private entrepreneurs. At beaches, airplane hangars, or at toilets of railway stations, it is not uncommon to find outsourced facility management


workers providing cleaning solutions. Going by the trend it seems the outsourcing of cleaning of entire townships can be a future scenario in India. This is a welcome trend. The o u t s o u rc i n g o f c l e a n i n g a n d maintenance service to professional housekeeping and facility management companies can instill a better standard of cleanliness and hygiene in Indian public places and hospitality sector than before. In fact, one can say that outsourcing can be an effective solution to address the monstrous clean & hygiene challenges in India and it affords to give the cleaning industry with a more specialised and hence more professional character.

Mechanised Options Besides outsourcing, the other major trend in the Indian cleaning

industr y has been the gaining popularity of mechanised cleaning. Machines are now slowly replacing human labour as far as sweeping the streets is concerned. Mechanised cleaning of the railway stations is as much of a happening trend as the green toilets in Railways. Delhi is the first city in India to initiate the process of mechanised cleaning. It was way back in September 2005 when the Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dixit, flagged off the advanced high-speed mechanised sweeper at ‘Majnu Ka Tila’ in North Delhi, for the maintenance of an 87 km long stretch of Ring Road and Outer Ring Road. However, many industry experts feel it would take at least ten years for mechanised cleaning to get widespread acceptance in India. Mechanised cleaning is not only more productive than manual cleaning in both short and long run, but is also more cost-effective than manual cleaning in the long run. However, all cleaning jobs are not suited for mechanised cleaning. In some facets of street cleaning, manual cleaning is preferable over the mechanised version. For example, it would not be feasible to use mechanical equipment on a rough surface which is disconnected and permeable, so only manual cleaning would be possible in such cases. The growing trend towards green hospitality options and eco-friendly architecture are other features of the fast evolving Indian cleaning & hygiene industry. Today major hospitality chains are opting for a host of eco-friendly practices to attract the new-age and environmentally aware tourists. The green buildings require stringent norms of housekeeping and thus this trend is expected to give an impetus to the clean & hygiene industry, in the near future.

Impeding Cleanliness The fact that the cleaning industry in India is largely disorganised and there is severe lack of awareness about cleaning and hygiene in the society are significant roadblocks to the growth of the Indian cleaning industry. Unless the industry gets more organised in the years to come and unless the society at large

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gets aware of the efforts, precision and time that goes into exhaustive cleaning operations, the ground level cleaning and housekeeping workers, who are largely languishing in the unorganised segment of the industry, cannot expect good pay package and social security and neither can get their well deserved respect and recognition. The general lack of awareness about cleaning operations is a challenge that needs to be overcome by the industry players with concerted action, through the help of advertisements and media. Even today many people equate cleaning only with sweeping and mopping, and do not construe it as a holistic approach towards maintaining health and hygiene in the society and also the image of the properties. The cleaning industry should make sincere efforts to ensure that cleaning and housekeeping becomes a respectable profession to enter even at the entry level, at par with that of any other white- collared profession. Linked to these problems is another challenge that the Indian cleaning industry faces on a dayto-day basis. That is the challenge involving paucity of skilled and trained manpower in the cleaning industry and high attrition rates of its workforce. Presently getting the manpower with the right skills and retaining them is a challenging task for the c leaning industr y, which

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is inextricably linked with the above-mentioned challenges. It is lamentable that though the manual labour force of both skilled and unskilled variants happens to be the face of the Indian cleaning industry, they are still frequently denied social uplif tment and economic security, along with basic dignity of labour. Unless and until the majority of clean & hygiene workers in India (who include the sweeper in your home too, or the man who cleans human waste from dirty and stinky public toilets) get decent pay package and social security benefits along with recognition of their hard work which they richly deser ve, the industry would continue facing the problem of attracting the right kind of skills and talent. However, despite infrastructure and human resource bottlenecks, the huge potential for the Indian cleaning industry cannot be ignored. If this growth potential is prudently harnessed by the state and corporate players, we can head for a truly clean and green society in the near future. The comprehensive proactive approach towards cleaning and hygiene by the governments and the industry must include generating better sanitation infrastructure, r a i s i n g m o re a w a re n e s s a n d consciousness towards cleaning in the society and legislative measures to curb littering of waste, particularly biomedical waste, industrial waste ■ and e-waste deposits.







Appliances Emporium 1847, Electrical Market, Bhagirath Palace, Chandni Chowk, Delhi-110006 Ph: 23862050, 23867721 Fax: 011-23873799 E-mail: Website:



Reflecting Trends in

Glass Cleaning With high rise buildings having glass facades becoming a regular feature of today’s construction scenario, the Facility Managers have to cope with the demands of keeping the buildings looking spic and span not only internally but also from the exteriors. This is a daunting task, particularly because the country has high levels of dust. The glass cleaning of skyscrapers is not only challenging but also involves risks. Ashok Malkani finds that the Facility Managers have found several methods to tackle the cleaning of skyscrapers. Robotic cleaning too has come to India since early this year but how far it will prove popular remains to be seen.


lass adds a touch of class. Be it the huge doors leading to the hotel lobby or the elevator shaft in the lobby. Or for that matter the shining glasses on the skyscrapers. Yes, presentation often plays a significant role in garnering business in the modern world and architecture is no exception to this rule. However, glass not only helps to provide an architectural structure with a classy look but also facilitates its functional value. In earlier days the role of glass in architecture was primarily to accentuate the aesthetics of the structure, but nowadays glass provides many intangible pragmatic benefits, which are often latent. Glass facilitates daylight into the building, and more the role of glass in a building, greater is its possibility to get ample sunlight, which eventually leads to the saving of electricity costs. The transparency of glass enables


day-lighting of the interiors and integrates the interiors with the exteriors. Studies have proven time and again that this significantly enhances the productivity and health of the occupants of the building. Then glass can play a crucial role in energy conservation. For example, eco-smart glass facades can cut heat while enabling optimum light to filter into the building, thus saving on energy used for air- conditioning and artificial lighting systems. High performance glass also facilitates in checking the solar and thermal heat in the interiors of the building and thereby helps to prevent the temperature in the building from soaring unchecked, which in turn again helps to reduce the usage of air-conditioner. All these are not only good for your pocket’s health, but also of the health of the environment on a macro level. No wonder glass façades have become quite common now. However

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their maintenance is a challenge for glass has to be cleaned regularly. Professional window cleaning requires dexterity of special techniques using various tools, most notably a squeegee. Depending on the type of window cleaning, various types of equipment are being used. Of course, professional window cleaning with the right tools and equipment generally results in more effective cleaning than home methods. For example, the very homely method of rubbing the pane of glass with cloth can leave the residue of ‘stroke’ marks, which are easily deciphered in glaring sunlight.

On the other hand, the effect of window cleaning through microfiber cloth and squeegee would be much more professional. Squeegees run the majority of the water off the window and leave only a small amount behind which evaporates quickly.

Glass Cleaning of High Rises As many buildings in India these days are having expensive glass facades with high performance glazing, their getting dirty through dust, bird droppings and acidic rains which tend to corrode the glass, makes all the more unaffordable. Thus glass façade cleaning has gained great importance in today’s clean & hygiene industry. A customised glass façade maintenance system can greatly enhance the look and as well as life of the building. The high rise window cleaning is an important facet of glass cleaning operations these days, which is not without its share of risks, though accidents while doing window cleaning has been extremely rare due to stringent safety measures adopted. However, if an accident happens in such cases, it has a high possibility of being a fatal one. For high rise

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window cleaning on the exterior of tall buildings that are too high for ladders or ground lifts or extension poles, some method of suspending from the roof must be used. Cleaning of glass facades often invol ves great c are and skil l. Implementation of anti-corrosion protection, cleaning and restoration of facades, mounting at height and at nearly inaccessible places are being done by using rope techniques. Rope technique or rope access is a way of working at heights without the help of drift scaffolding or cranes. A cleaning or housekeeping worker working at a certain height needs to be trained to be dexterous in the handling of the rope to which he is attached with his climbing belt. The rope technique is ver y much applicable in glass cleaning, particularly in glass cleaning of high rises. Rope technique is a safe and effective way to undertake glass cleaning at heights, particularly where access is not that easy. As a result of the rapid installation of anchor and cable system, rope technique in most cases happens to be a faster and affordable way of working at heights than with the help of cranes, scaffolding and other access devices. Of course, it goes without saying that this kind of work requires great skill, but it has many advantages as it is not necessary to close the facade with scaffolding during this kind of cleaning operations. Neither does the rope technique of glass cleaning interfere with the appearance of the property and with the environment around it. Nor does it obstruct the traffic, unless some people decide to stop and stare at the combination of courage and skill demonstrated by workers through rope technique. “Safety is one of the crucial factors in this industry. Especially in tall buildings, if a worker is hanging from say 20th floor while doing cleaning operations, the equipment needs to be in an absolutely perfect condition, and therefore the checking of the equipment needs to be stringent. Every hour of use of the rope is logged by us, the logs are then checked in office once a week. After the rope completes 1000 hrs of usage, the rope is being discarded and cut up into


BUSINESS pieces and sold to ensure that it is not subjected to reuse. Besides, safety locks & descender units are logged and brought once every month for a check up in our office. We also use neutral cleaning solutions as they are not harmful while handling or breathing in by the workers. The workers, at the time of hiring, undergo thorough medical check up to detect ailments like vertigo and high blood pressure so as to ensure their safety,” elaborated Suhag Khemlani, the Deputy Managing Director of Clean India Group.

The New-age Technologies Spiderman is one of the useful methods of cleaning of glass facades for tall structures. According to Suhag, India is only the seventh countr y to use this system of cleaning operations, which originated in France. Spiderman technique according to Suhag, “entails the usage of mountaineering


equipment and rope, with inbuilt system of secondary safety rope.” The rope needs to be installed with safety anchor at the top of the building for safety. Spiderman technique is ideal for façade glass cleaning of those areas of buildings which are difficult to access, and is generally used for small projects needing economic maintenance solutions. Suhag informed that this technique is however, meant only for the cleaning of facades. Moreover, she said that for architectures taller than 80 meters, Spiderman would not be recommended by her company. In such cases she calls for a more comprehensive range of cleaning and maintenance equipment. Nowadays robots are being used for window cleaning. The Windoro WCR-I001 Window Cleaning Robot is the first window cleaning robot in the world. Innovative and practical, it cleans your windows entirely with its microfiber pads and cleaning solution. Equipped with two magnetic modules, it navigates your windows safely and can cover up to 15 square meters on a single charge. Robotic c leaning now has advanced to a stage where robots are being used even for window cleaning in high rise buildings. Robots have now been created to clean windows,

particularly for unique architectural buildings such as in Dubai. This new-age cleaning technology can be very much effective in cleaning many skyscrapers and architectural wonders in the United Arab Emirates, where conventional window cleaning techniques are not likely to lead to success. Besides their obvious advantage in cleaning skyscrapers and other singular architectural structures, the robotic cleaners can work at much greater speed and efficiency than any window cleaning personnel. India too is now becoming a country dotted with numerous skyscrapers. No wonder then that robots for cleaning also do have great cleaning potential in India. The world’s first automatic window cleaning robot has recently been introduced in India. The country now has its first automatic window cleaning robot, courtesy Milagrow HumanTech, which introduced the home cleaning robot in India. With its introduction in India, Milagrow Windoro is expected to garner great popularity among apartment owners in high rises as well as among businesses and properties with a premium on cleanliness, especially the hospitals and malls. The automatic window cleaning robot can save user’s time and money. The Milagrow Windoro had received favourable response at its launch at IFA in Berlin, and at the CES show in Las Vegas. On the occasion of the launch, Rajeev Karwal, Founder Director of Milagrow said, “Milagrow HumanTech has been created to bring the very latest of humane technology to the Indian consumers. By launching the world’s first window cleaning robot in India, we are demonstrating the commitment to our vision.” He assured that more such products would be launched by their company in the immediate future. However, how much successful the robots would eventually become in addressing the window cleaning challenges in Indian conditions; plagued by dust, acidic rain and pigeon droppings, still remains to be seen. ■

May-June ’12


Kitchen Hygiene in

Restaurants Cleanliness is next to Godliness. And this is more so in case of eating outlets since lack of personal hygiene or tidiness in keeping the kitchen relatively free of germs can result in ill health for your patrons, thereby resulting in a loss of reputation for your restaurant. With increasing spending power, dining out has become a norm rather than exception in the upper echelons of the society of metropolitan India. To keep the guests happy and make them become regular customers it is necessary to provide them with not only courteous service but also tasty, healthy and hygienic food. This can be only ensured through maintaining high standards of hygiene in your kitchen. Ashok Malkani discusses on how kitchens in restaurants can be kept relatively free from the inuence of germs and infestation.


ith food poisoning c a s e s becoming rampant, everyone’s attention is now focussed on kitchen hygiene. How clean is the kitchen in the Indian restaurants,


on an average? What is the hygiene drill as far as their food is concerned? These are some of the questions that are uppermost in the minds of many discerning guests. There are some restaurants with open kitchen, ensuring a degree of transparency in their clean & hygiene operations

pertaining to food management, but they are rarities rather than the practice in India. A restaurant should be judged not only by its quality of food but also by the standards of food safety norms it practices, and it is often judged likewise. Eating establishments

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HYGIENE (whether they be frozen, refrigerated or dry storage) in order to maintain high quality and maximise their shelf lives. A good restaurant should always strive to ensure that its food items are impeccably stored while maintaining the correct food hygiene procedures. The food items which are prepared at the restaurant should be stored properly at every stage of the supply chain. Raw meats are to be kept away from pre-cooked meats and other food items to reduce the threat

need to ensure satisfaction of their guests in each of their visits to the outlet, and that can be only achieved through great food coupled with great food safety standards. However, many a time restaurants do not adhere to even basic norms of food hygiene, especially in a developing country like India. Whether you are an entrepreneur owning a restaurant or an employee working at a restaurant, you need to play your respective role to ensure that the food coming from the kitchen of the restaurant are not only good enough but also safe enough for the guests to eat. If your restaurant gets associated with food poisoning, then it would not only bring disrepute to the place, but you may lose your business or job for that matter. So it is not only ethical but also pragmatic to adhere stringently

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to food safety conventions, rules and regulations. In this regard, besides ensuring that the eating area is kept spic and span, the restaurateur needs to regularly monitor the cleanliness in the kitchen area. All the staff at the restaurant should be educated about the basic elements of food hygiene. Besides these, attention must be paid to food storage, handling, preparation, and employee hygiene.

Storage Factors Food quality control at the restaurant begins when the raw or finished food items enter the restaurant, and that means all food shipments need to be checked against spoilage so that only the best possible food items enter the restaurant. Once accepted, the food items need to be stored properly

of cross-contamination, which can pave the way for bacterial infections. In fact, distinct storage locations for various types of raw foods should be adhered to at every step of the supply chain, which would facilitate the consistent serving of hygienic food. Moreover, all meats and other frozen foods should be stored at below ďŹ ve degrees Celsius to ensure


HYGIENE Organism

Affected Foods

Preventive Measures


Canned and vacuum packaged foods.

Discard swollen cans. Bring food temperature to at least 140 degrees F to eliminate any such bacteria that may be present.


Undercooked meat, poultry, shellfish and raw milk.

Wash hands after handling raw meats. Cook all foods to the proper internal temperature.

E. Coli

Raw vegetables, unpasteurised fruit juice. Raw shellfish or any other food handled by someone with dirty hands.

Wash all products prior to serving.


Ready-to-eat and processed meats, soft cheeses and unpasteurised milk.

Good personal hygiene practices and equipment cleaning and sanitising will reduce the risk of contamination.


Any food or surface that has been contaminated. Person-to-person transmission is also very easy. Undercooked chicken, raw vegetables and eggs.

Enforce proper hand washing and surface sanitisation practices. Send employees with stomach flu to home, for rest. Properly wash all food produce before their cooking. Make sure all food products reach the proper minimum internal temperature while cooking.


Raw produce and salads that require a lot of preparation like potato and tuna salad.

Strictly enforce good personal hygiene among workers.

Staph Infection

Pastries, sandwiches and other foods that require a lot of handling for preparation.

Follow proper hand washing procedures. Do not let workers prepare foods if they have nasal and eye infections.

Hepatitis A


the impeding of the bacterial spread. The perishable foods should not be kept at room temperature, as then it may invite the breeding of bacteria. The sealing of reusable food products in air tight containers must also be ensured, which could prevent their and other food items’ contamination. They should also be kept away from other food items. Regular checks of all the refrigeration units of the restaurant are also needed to prevent any untoward breakdown in storage operations.

Preventing Crosscontamination One of the serious problems of kitchen operations is crosscontamination. Cross-contamination entails the transmitting of baneful microorganisms from one surface or substance to another. This has great relevance for the food service industry. Cross-contamination can affect any


Follow proper hand washing practices to prevent person-to-person transmission.

home or commercial kitchen, and can cause illness. Therefore, effective steps must be taken in terms of food storage, food handling and food preparation to avoid it. Cross-

contamination can be prevented by ensuring that there is demarcation of areas between food storage and preparation of foods, proper personal hygiene is maintained by the persons who are preparing and serving of food or rather the entire staff at the restaurant, and thoroughly cleaning and sanitising kitchen equipment and supplies. The kitchen staff should also adhere to basic norms of hygiene to prevent cross-contamination. They should keep their hands from nose, hair, eyes, ears, etc. when engaged in preparation, handling and/or serving of food. Besides they should always strive to keep food away from unclean surfaces. Handling of foods can be fraught with risk elements of contamination for the restaurant business. The proper handling of food items can prevent the possibility of crosscontamination. The kitchen staff

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HYGIENE should wash their hands thoroughly, both prior to and after the handling of any meat product. This practice should be especially adhered to for raw meats, in order to signiďŹ cantly reduce the potential of bacterial contamination due to their coming into physical contact with the meat. Furthermore, raw foods should be stored and refrigerated separately from ready-to-eat food products. If they are kept in the same refrigerator, raw foods should be kept on lower shelves than ready-to-eat foods so that there is no possibility of accidental dripping from raw food products on ready-to-eat food products. This would minimise the potential of cross-contamination. In addition to this, the raw meats should be kept in well-sealed containers to be doubly sure of preventing the menace of cross-contamination through dripping, etc. However, even if all the precautions are taken while storing and handling of foods, it cannot guarantee food hygiene in kitchen at restaurants or at homes for the matter, unless the

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preparation process of food is made impeccably hygienic. After every usage, the chopping boards and work surfaces must be disinfected to reduce the potential of the danger of cross-contamination. Another way of preventing cross-contamination is by preparing food on clean surfaces and by using clean cutting boards. They would minimise the spread of harmful germs. Separate cutting boards for raw meats and vegetables are also advisable. In fact, here it deserves a mention that preparing two or more types of meat on the same surface has danger of paving the way for diseases. Moreover, cooked food and food that

is being prepared or to be prepared must be kept away from each other to facilitate hygiene in kitchen. Of course, it goes without saying that serving of improperly cooked food should not be allowed under any circumstances in a restaurant. This can encourage cross-contamination in a big way.

Employee Hygiene Howe ver, despite the best precautions in storage, handling and preparation of food, the hygiene in restaurant kitchen cannot be maintained if the workers do not religiously adhere to exacting hygienic standards. There are various



ways by which employee hygiene in restaurants can be maintained. The persons involved in preparation or serving of food must wear hair restraints to keep hair from coming into the contact of food and causing unhygienic repercussions thereafter. Shoes worn by the workers should be close toed, with a slip resistant sole. They should wear socks too. Besides washing their hands and exposed portions of their arms thoroughly, the persons engaged in preparation and serving of food should keep their fingernails trimmed, so as to prevent the intrusion of germs in the nails and thereby their possibility of infiltrating in food. The employees engaged in the preparation and service of food must also keep it a point to clean their hands in a hand-washing sink that is equipped with hot and cold running water. These employees must not clean their hands in a sink used for food preparation, or in a service sink or a curbed cleaning facility used for the disposal of mop water and similar liquid waste. Of course, it goes without saying that all employees engaged in food service business should wash their hands af ter using the restroom (this applies to all hygienic individuals), after handling animals, after coughing, sneezing and immediately prior to food preparation. Yes, washing


hands prior to food preparation is also needed so as to prevent the transmission of bacteria to food. Of course, washing hands after the preparation of food is also a necessary feature of hygienic kitchen operations. Experienced Chefs advice washing of hands with hot, soapy water for at least two minutes, before starting working with food, particularly if that raw food item is poultry or red meat.

Countering Food Poisoning Bacteria and viruses are the most common and as well as dangerous sources of food poisoning. These microorganisms can be present in the food before their preparation,

or can pass from the food handler to the customer because of poor personal hygiene or unsafe practices. The following table lists the most common organisms responsible for food poisoning, the foods in which they are found and the ways to prevent food poisoning at your establishment.

Kitchen Cleaning Operations A clean kitchen facilitates to do away with pests and also encourages hygiene in food preparation and serving process thereby helping you to get repeat customers. Therefore maintaining a clean kitchen is an essential requirement to food hygiene as is the preparation, storage and handling of food; as is the workers’ hygiene engaged in the preparation, handling and serving of food. However, ensuring a clean kitchen is not a simple process but a demanding job. There are various steps towards ensuring a clean kitchen. Besides routine cleaning of inside of the refrigerator, freezer and other equipment, mopping the floor of the kitchen by using a disinfecting floor cleaner, at the end of the day and whenever any food or liquid is spilled, must be practiced. Sweeping of kitchen floors at least once a day or more must also be ensured as is the cleaning and sanitising of shelves and walls on a regular

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HYGIENE automated methods to clean their kitchens, which are less labourintensive and are more productive and effective than manual cleaning operations.

basis. Of course, furniture, racks and trays in the kitchen must also be subjected to thorough cleaning, at least once a week. Moreover, one particular area of the kitchen should be cleaned thoroughly every day. This would ensure that all areas of the restaurant kitchen are being thoroughly cleaned every month. Many restaurant kitchens are cleaned hours after closing of the outlet, which allows the grease to harden thereby making kitchen cleaning endeavour a challenging process. However, nowadays, several restaurants are seen opting for more

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Training, Awareness and Attitude Effective execution of the laws of the land pertaining to maintenance of food hygiene in restaurants is very much needed in India, but laws can never be sufficient if the awareness and attitude towards hygiene is missing. Therefore, the food service establishments should make a sincere endeavour to inculcate the awareness and attitude towards food hygiene, among their management and staff, which is still far from an omnipresent phenomenon in the Indian restaurants. The saying ‘You only get one chance to make a first impression’, is very much relevant to the food service industry. Therefore ensuring exacting food hygiene in restaurants is as important as the quality of food.

The maintenance of hygiene in food preparation, storage and handling is very much dependent on properly trained staff. Rightly training the kitchen or restaurant staff so that they are able to develop the right knowledge and attitude to adhere to safe food handling practices is perhaps the most essential requirement for facilitating food quality and safety at the restaurants. Not only the personnel engaged in food preparation and serving but also the personnel who are not directly related to food preparation, handling or serving but directly deals with the customer, such as the cashier, must be given proper training on food hygiene. Retraining the staff on food hygiene practices from time to time is also needed. Restaurant Managers also need to show how important quality food management practices are by practicing what they preach, whether be it through checking food temperatures, manning the grill or personally supervising the cleanliness of the workers. ■



The Role of Laundry in

Hospitality A By Kanishka Gupta

laundry plays a vital role in hotel housekeeping operations because it oversees the cleaning and upkeep of linen and fabric on a daily basis. A laundry is also essential from the guests’ point of view as laundry requirements may arise during the course of their stay, which usually get taken care of by the in-house laundry in hotels. Dry cleaning, normal laundering, express laundry, pressing, etc. are the standard set of laundry services offered to hotel guests. Rooms are a major sub-section of housekeeping and without laundry, it is impossible to make available to the guests fresh and plush linen, which is vital to the décor of the rooms and central to the concept of a five-star or for that matter any star hotel’s experience. When dirty or used linen is sent for cleaning, it undergoes several stages like sorting, washing, extraction, drying, pressing, packaging, and distribution. Each process is important so as to breathe life into the linen and keep them


from smelling or appearing soiled. It is observed that the normal life of linen like bed sheets, pillow slips, duvets are 100 -120 washes. A laundry also provides the hotel’s housekeeping staff with clean, crisp and well-ironed uniforms. This is necessary as the employees are representatives of the hotel and pivotal to promoting the hotel’s image. O verall, the laundr y

Reetha Thomas

department plays a very important role in the housekeeping function of a hotel.

Typical Laundry Functions

Reetha Thomas, Head— Department of Housekeeping, Radisson Blu MBD Hotel Noida said, “A laundry in a five-star hotel is operational for 24 hours throughout the year.” That gives us an idea of the importance of laundry operations in hotel business. Any article which is processed in laundry primarily goes through four stages. First, sorting is done for stains, according to the type of linen as different items often require different washing formulae. Thus, it is inadvisable to mix different items of linen in the same wash batch. Then the laundry undergoes actual washing. The sorted linen is weighed according to the washing machine’s load limit. Large washing machines are used, which are usually operated by a certified washer operator. The washer operator loads and unloads the washer, decides what is to be

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Gurdeep Singh Parhar

washed according to the laundry’s schedule, and monitors the chemical levels in the water. Third, in the drying/tumble stage, linen is dried in tumble dryer according to its type and weight and after that, items like bed sheets/ pillow slips are also calendered and then folded. Items like towels and blankets are put through a dryer until they are no longer damp. In short, in this stage, the clean linen is dried, ironed and folded. Then the processed linen is prepared for delivery and kept ready


for rooms, restaurants, etc. In the delivery stage, clean linen is stacked in clean linen trolley and sent to the floors for repeat usage. The laundry operations in a hotel are often not a one man’s job. For example, at Radisson Blu MBD Hotel Noida, K R Nautiyal is the laundry in-charge under the guidance of Reetha Thomas and is assisted with a team of two valets and 12 workers under him. On a daily basis, an average weight of 1100-1300 kg of linen/ fabric is processed at Radisson Blu MBD Hotel Noida. These include bath linen of 240 kg daily on an average, bed linen of 300 kg daily on an average, guest white of 15 kg daily on an average, guest colour of 25 kg daily on an average, and guest light of 20 kg daily on an average. F& B white of 120 kg daily on an average, F&B colour of 80 kg daily on an average, white uniform of 100 kg daily on an average, coloured uniform of 110 kg daily on an average, spa towels of 200 kg daily on an average, dry cleanable items of 30 kg daily on an average and others constituting 25 kg daily on an average are also part of the total average weight of laundry load processed per day at

Cen t r a l i s e d L a u n d r y

entralised laundries are a new trend in the industrial laundry business. Rao informed that his firm had been providing advice to entrepreneurs to set up centralised laundries that would cater to the hospitality industry, since 13 years ago. “In India, the advent of more centralised laundries will allow hotel brands to be comfortable and thus save on capital and operations costs,” conferred Rao. “In hotels OPLs (On Premise Laundries) are energy and manpower intensive and are difficult to maintain. However, the plus side is that stringent quality checks are easy to enforce as the laundry is in-house,” he pointed out. Rao believes that the time for centralised laundries has arrived in India, but in the same breath he states that, “Centarlised laundries have to be careful in their

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delivery modes and packaging, as linen handling is critical and is susceptible to humidity and poor quality of finishing at the end of the line due to bad handling by the delivery team.” In India, many hotel brands insist on having OPLs (On Premise Laundries), while these same hospitality brands in many international locations are comfortable with centralised laundries and their linen programs. Such linen programs entail that the entire inventory of the hotel’s linen supplies and uniforms are maintained by the centralised laundry vendor. The hotel simply has to take delivery of finished products and hand over the soiled items. The hotel can reject badly finished or any damaged pieces by doing random sampling at the time of delivery.

the property. “In-house laundry caters to guests as well as staff (for maintaining hygiene and standards of the uniform) of the hotel. A laundry’s function in any hotel is that of a 24 hour department. From soiled linen from each F&B outlet and room linen to staff uniforms, laundry caters to all. Sorting, cleaning, dry cleaning, ironing and then marking are the major functions of a laundry in a typical day,” said Gurdeep Singh Parhar, Manager — FabriCare, ITC Maurya, New Delhi. “A laundry also plays an important role in providing a luxurious experience during any banquet function in the hotel by supplying crisp and clean table top covers and other required essentials. The laundry at ITC Maurya, New Delhi has a capacity to process 8,000 kg of laundry per day. Our hotel deals in all types of linen such as towel, silk, wool, cotton, etc. which require different chemicals to treat them,” he added.

Laundry Equipment in Use

At Radisson Blu MBD Hotel Noida, a variety of machines for different uses made by different manufacturers are installed. “Skilled and experienced staff operates the machines as the process demands expertise and technical know-how,” informed Reetha. Wa s h e r - c u m - e x t r a c t o r, a state-of-the-art machine with a capacity to wash 200 kg linen per hour; dryers; flat bed press with folders; utility pressing machine;

Karan Goyal



Machines Used in Radisson MBD Blu Hotel Noida S.

Types of Machine





1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.


Washing Machine No. 1 Washing Machine No. 2 Tumbler (Dryer No. 1) Tumbler (Dryer No. 2) Calendar Machine (Flate Work Ironer) Washing Machine (Domestic) Washing Machine (Domestic) Spotting Machine Dry-cleaning Machine Steam Press Cuff and Collar Press Hot Head Press Form Finisher

dry-cleaning machines; marking machines constitute the range of laundry equipment of ITC Maurya, New Delhi. “The hotel does train the laundry men to operate these machines as they require some level of expertise to operate,” said Parhar. The need for sophisticated range of laundry equipment is catered to by various suppliers and manufacturers. One of the important suppliers of laundry equipment in hotels is Supershine Laundry Systems Pvt. Ltd. Suppliers like Supershine Laundry Systems manufacture and supply a range of laundry equipment and has an impressive list of clientele comprising top-end hotels. “A typical hotel laundry consists of washer extractor, drying tumbler, feeder, flat work ironer and folder, dry cleaning machine and finishing presses,” affirmed Karan Goyal, Vice President, Supershine Laundry Systems. “Majority of five-star hotels in India purchase imported laundry equipment due to their superior quality and better processing results on an average,” he added. Hotels happen to be the primary market segment of Supershine Laundry Systems. “About 95 percent of our sales come from our hotel clients,” pointed out Goyal.

Choosing the Equipment and Supplier A well-equipped laundry area can be a very convenient asset to any



Washing Washing Drying Drying Pressing Washing Washing Stain Dry Wash Pressing Pressing Pressing Pressing

Supershine Supershine Supershine Supershine Supershine Supershine Supershine Supershine Supershine Supershine Supershine Wotak Wotak

hotel. But how do hotels determine what laundry equipment they want or require and how do they choose their suppliers? While buying laundry equipment following factors can be taken into account by the hotels so as to enable them to possess the optimum laundry set up. Overall, Reetha feels that when choosing a supplier for laundry equipment some important parameters should be taken care of. They are price, quality, training provided, sustainability of supplies, and whether the supplier complies with relevant legislation of the company like ISO certification, HACCP certification, etc. The availability of the supplier and spare parts of the equipment purchased, during an emergency, should also be taken care of account. “It is also important to determine the availability and pricing of common parts of the laundr y machines which you intend to purchase and

125 LB/56 KG 126 LB/56 KG 25 KG 25 KG 5 KG 5 KG ******* 12 KG ******* ******* ******* *******

Image Image Supershine Supershine Image Whirlpool IFB Supershine Itaclean Supershine Forenta Ajax Ajax

one should also make sure that one has the warranty details in writing,” explained Reetha. She also urges buyers to ask for a handful of references in the industry and to do their homework before checking the suppliers. Besides these basic factors some other factors too need to be considered while purchasing a laundry equipment or a range of laundry equipment in a hotel. “Before shopping for laundry equipment, you must consider your daily needs or the size of property you are working with. Hotels should carefully consider their daily laundry needs before buying any laundry equipment,” asserted Reetha. She also correctly pointed out that before heading to buy the laundry equipment or the range of laundry equipment, one should be armed with the information on space like length, width and height of the laundry where it/they need/s to be installed. “To determine what type and how much industrial laundry equipment a hospitality property needs, it is important to first determine the size of your laundry operations, fabric used in the hotel and load per day. Other things to consider are employee turnover and floor space, etc.,” elaborated Parhar. “Always try to buy high efficiency and energy-saving equipment. Large capacity washers and dryers mean more output and greater efficiency

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LAUNDRY in processing your daily wash requirements,” explained Reetha. She also advised to be sure of taking advantage of any opportunities to save. “Many retailers offer additional sales information online, so remember to check store websites,” she stated. When asked on specifications about washer and dryer, she said that, “A washer or dryer should have programmable cycles and simple one touch operation.” According to her, it should have customisation of cycle times, spin speeds, number of rinses and water temperature, which means consistent wash outcomes and ease of operations. That is not all. Manual dosing of powdered or liquid detergents and sanitisers is often plagued with issues like pilferage, over use, poor cleaning outcomes, and detergent residues in fabric, along with potential safety issues and higher costs. “All of these issues can be overcome and detergent costs can be slashed by fitting automatic chemical dosing pumps to your machine,” articulated Reetha.

The Role of Consultants

Consultants also help in the sel ecti on proces s of la undr y equipment. “Vital Concept Design is a hotel operations design firm which has designed over 100 hotels and hospitality spaces. Once selected for an assignment, the company provides services that range from assessing laundry capacities to preparing designs of laundry and housekeeping spaces, to assessing the vendor capabilities, making recommendations and finally coordinating with various

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holds technical negotiations with all the vendors who approach the hotel for supplying of laundry equipment in order to ensure that all are on a standard platform. Then a technical comparison is drawn by the consultant, which is passed on to the hotel owner along with a preferred vendor list. The hotel owner then holds multiple rounds of price negotiations, following which, the purchase order is being issued,” emphasised Goyal. Ram Vittal Rao

agencies like architectural services consultants, the laundry equipment vendor and finally with the client and brand manufacturer to ensure that there is minimal variation between the designed and the end product delivered,” explained Ram Vittal Rao, Director, Vital Concept Design. In fact, the role of consultants in selecting the laundry equipment is crucial. For example, in most cases, Supershine Laundry Systems does not need to determine the laundry equipment requirement of a typical hotel because most hotels hire facility planning consultant to plan the backof-the-house requirements which includes laundry, kitchen, etc. For laundry equipment, the designated consultant comes out with a laundry tender document which is circulated to the various laundry equipment vendors in contention. “Supershine quotes as per the tender specifications, as do other vendors. Henceforth, the consultant

Future is Indigenous Goyal views that the “future of laundry equipment industry in India is definitely of indigenously manufactured laundry equipment.” Goyal has a valid reason for this statement. “This is because imported laundry equipment has a market segment limited primarily to fivestar and four-star hotels, which can afford some extra initial capital investment on laundry equipment due to their quality consciousness. Other discussed market segments like hospitals, garment manufacturers and educational institutions primarily cater to their laundry needs through indigenously manufactured laundry equipment,” he analysed. “Now when the laundry equipment manufacturing processes in India will advance and as the indigenous laundry equipment manufacturers will be able to match quality expectations of five-star and four-star hotels, the imported laundry equipment’s requirement will diminish. So, indigenous manufacturing of laundry equipment is the way to go,” Goyal concluded. ■



Housekeeping Needs

Social Security By P. R. Mehra


t is a well-known fact that our hospitalit y industr y is plagued by the scarcity of skilled manpower. This problem is perhaps more acute in the housekeeping segment of our hospitality industr y. In fact, housekeeping and facility management in India has a perpetual problem of attracting skilled manpower and high attrition rate. The reasons are not difďŹ cult to discern. Poor pay package, long working hours, low social prestige associated with cleaning, hygiene and maintenance jobs (especially at the ground levels) in India together discourages trained and talented people from entering this demanding industry and be part of its workforce. Though the manual labour force of both skilled and unskilled nature happens to be the face of the housekeeping industry, they are still frequently denied social upliftment and economic security, along with dignity of labour. To top it all, there is rampant absence of the mandatory social security norms due to the predominantly unorganised nature


of the industry, which makes the blue-collared workers engaged in housekeeping particularly vulnerable to the whims and fancies of the contractors besides having the prospect of being saddled with a bleak future in their non working years. Presently, the task of getting, training and retaining the quality manpower for the cleaning & hygiene segment of the housekeeping industry is an uphill one in India. An ensuring of respectability and security to the personnel involved in the profession can however

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pay them better, treat them better and make efforts to secure their future to some extent, we cannot hope to have a huge army of trained housekeeping personnel, which in any case is the need of the times to meet their huge demand in the corporate sector and the hospitality industry.

make the above mentioned jobs a bit easier. However, this calls for a comprehensive change in deep-set attitudes and mindsets of our society, regarding which, the leaders and prominent players in the Indian housekeeping industry should play a proactive role.

Payment and Prestige The housekeeping industry in India, if it wants to encourage skilled workforce and retain them, and thereby hope to reach the international standards of service in the near future, in true sense, must make a concerted effort to take care of its workers. However, improving the pitiable pay structure and social prestige, particularly for the cleaning and hygiene employees engaged in the vast unorganised segment of the industry is not the responsibility of only the management of the hospitality and facility management companies; onus is also on the civil society at large. We can make a humble beginning by treating the persons who sweep our roads or clean our public and private toilets at corporate societies, business centers, mall, etc. with more dignity. Of course, at the same time they should get a slightly decent pay packet and their working hours should become less erratic. Unless we

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A Matter of Right It is not that housekeeping workers have no rights, but there is a huge dearth of consciousness about their rights. The clean & hygiene workers and as well as the contractors or management who hire them, must be aware that under the Shop and Establishments Act, unskilled, semiskilled and skilled workers are entitled to various social security benefits like PF, ESI, gratuity, bonus & leaves. And housekeeping industry of course also falls under the purview of this act. Any regular employee who earns a gross salary up to Rs.15000 and is working in a non-seasonal factory using power and employing ten or more persons, or is working in a non-seasonal and non power using factory and establishment employing 20 or more persons, is entitled to get ESI benefits. In fact, it is mandatory for those employers to give ESI to their employees who are earning a gross salary of up to Rs.15000. Under ESI, the family of the employee’s and his/her dependents’ medical expenses are being covered. Though 1.75 percent of the salary is the contribution of the employee, the employers need to put in 4.75 percent of the employee’s salary to the ESI fund. Similarly, the regular employees engaged in a company with 20 personnel or more are entitled to get PF benefits if their basic salary is up to Rs.6500. Here it deserves mention that for PF calculation, as per the Minimum Wages Act, up to a salary of Rs. 6500 the entire salary is being treated as the basic salary. The employer can give PF benefits to his/her worker even if the employee’s salary is more than Rs.6500 but up to Rs. 6500 the PF benefit is mandatory. Under the PF scheme, around 12 percent of the employee’s basic salary is deducted as contribution to his/her provident fund, and the same amount



is contributed from the employer’s end also. S imilar l y, if a shop or an establishment has 10 or more persons as employees, it is mandatory for that shop or establishment to pay gratuity to its employees. As per revised Accounting Standard 15, prescribed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, form 1st April 2006, gratuity liability is incurred for every year of service and not merely on vesting of liability after five years.

The Lack of Awareness However, sadly due to the lack of awareness among workers and the largely unorganised nature of the industry a great many workers in the housekeeping industry are deprived of these basic benefits. Neither do many contractual labourers in the industry get leave benefits.

The lack of all these facilities not only make a great many clean & hygiene employees vulnerable but also hampers the image of the housekeeping industry at large. The housekeeping companies which are engaged in this unscrupulous flouting of legalities should be bought to book, but sadly that seldom happens, largely because of the lack of awareness among the workers in particular and our callous society in general. There is no denying the fact that the lack of adequate awareness about cleaning and hygiene in the society, and the huge unorganised sector in the cleaning industry are impeding the industry’s growth and both of these areas must be made more accountable towards the hitherto neglected clean & hygiene professionals. Till we do not generate awareness about and respect towards

the cleaning profession, the industry cannot attain its potential growth and desired momentum. We, the players and stakeholders in the cleaning business, should

realise that we have an important role to change the pub l i c perception about the cleaning industry. Housekeeping should not be treated merely as sweeping or mopping but as a holistic endeavour to enhance the image, security and as well as hygienic quotient of the property concerned through an array of professionally managed and executed services. We must collectively strive to ensure dignity to the profession and its employees. As entrepreneurs we should focus on our balance sheets, but should not have a balance sheet that compromises on social security of our employees.

Facilitating Business In fact, I would like to point out that not adhering to the statutory


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norms pertaining to social security greatly impedes a housekeeping and facility management company from getting business from the government and the organised corporate sector, as the non compliance of social security norms are easily revealed through scrutiny of balance sheets and accounts, which are required for getting business from the organised sector. So following the statutory norms in terms of social security not only helps the housekeeping companies to attract better skilled manpower and to arrest the attrition rate, but also facilitates it to generate greater revenues. At Walsons Facility Solutions we ensure all that our employees get the benefit of comprehensive social security. Each of our 4000 employees on the payroll are entitled for PF deduction irrespective of their salary and designation, and this I believe, endows them with a secured feeling and encourages them to give their best. Besides stringently following the minimum wage norms and other employee-friendly social security initiatives, we also provide uniform for our workers at free of cost. Probably our employee-friendly approach is one of the reasons behind our stupendous growth, where within a span of 16 months since the beginning of the journey of Walsons we have come up with four regional & 18 branch ofďŹ ces across India. I wish for a day when the human-interest endeavours carried by our company become a collective norm in the Indian housekeeping industry and not an exception. The author is the CEO & Managing Director of Walsons Facility Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

May-June ’12



Cockroach Control C ontrol


ockroaches carry food poisoning germs on their bodies. They are repulsive and objectionable to most people simply by their presence. Recently, cockroaches have been found to be an important source of allergy among people, second only to dust. Cockroaches are known to carry human pathogens, such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can result in human diseases, such as food poisoning or diarrhoea. O c c a s i o n a l l y, c o c k r o a c h e s even decimate fabric and paper products. Cockroaches also secrete a substance which can result in stains on surfaces they contact and produce disagreeable odours. Finally, products of cockroach infestations, including saliva, faeces and cast skins, are source of allergens and can induce allergies and asthma among people, especially among children. Coc kroac hes are the most common insect pests infesting food service establishments and other structures. They can be found in premises where food is stored or handled. These pests carry food


poisoning germs on their bodies and are responsible for the spread of dysentery and gastroenteritis. They are also capable of mechanically transmitting organisms such as the bacteria, which cause food poisoning. Cockroaches are nocturnal pests, who generally hide during the daytime and become active as the night commences. The number of cockroaches people see is usually a small percentage of a much larger population. Cockroaches can live in any condition but they have preference for different habitats depending on the species. German cockroaches prefer dark, warm, humid areas in the vicinity of the food and water sources. American and oriental cockroaches prefer cooler areas, such as basements and crawl spaces. Brown banded cockroaches prefer to reside in dry areas, such as pantries and closets. All cockroaches are scavengers and will survive on almost any food as well as backing glue, leather, bookbindings, bar soap, etc. When the cockroach infestation is in large numbers, it may even show a taste for

electronics and wiring in television and microwaves. Cockroaches spend most of their time in narrow, tight cracks and spaces where surfaces touch them on both sides. Cockroaches tend to congregate in corners and generally travel along the edges of walls or other surfaces. Proper control and precaution should

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PEST MANAGEMENT be taken to avoid infestation of cockroaches.

Types of Cockroaches Cockroaches have been existing since the primeval times. These large insects vary from 10-23 mm in length; with long whip like antennae and two pairs of wings. Cockroaches are the only living species found all over the globe. Broadly they are divided into three commonly found species: They are known as Oriental Cockroach, German Cockroach, and American Cockroach. These coc kroac hes c an be distinguished by their size and colour. The oriental cockroach is larger and darker brown in colour. They, unlike the German variety, are unable to climb smooth vertical surfaces. Oriental cockroaches are 30 mm long, dark brown in colour whereas German cockroaches are light yellowish brown, and about 12mm long. The bodies of both species are divided into three sections. They have long antennae protruding

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from the head. The American cockroaches are occasionally found in homes, although they are more abundantly present in commercial establishments like restaurants, grocery stores, and bakeries and other sites where food is prepared for commercial production. They favour very warm, moist places (temperatures in excess of 82° F). An American cockroach has a liking towards fermenting foods. The female cockroach produces up to eight purse-like egg cases at monthly intervals. The egg cases are thick walled and are 6-12 mm in length and may contain up to 30 eggs. The nymphs of the German cockroach emerge from their eggs in 2-4 weeks while those of the oriental cockroach in 6-12 weeks. The nymphs are similar in appearance to the adult but smaller. As the nymph develops and grows, it moults. This usually occurs 5-10 times during its development which may take up to two years to complete until the insect reaches maturity.

The life cycle is complete in a further four months for oriental cockroaches and in nine months for German cockroaches. Cockroaches typically become established in the premises after being introduced in grocery bags, with laundry or, in some cases, by wandering in from outdoors. Once cockroaches become established in a given area,


PEST MANAGEMENT they are prolific breeders capable of producing several thousand offsprings in a year.

Precautionary Measures S anitation assumes cr ucial importance for preventing cockroach infestations. Cockroaches need water and food to survive and thrive. By limiting their access to these resources, you reduce their ability to survive and reproduce. The most effective pest control for cockroaches is usually the simplest. Just remove their food supply and breeding sites. This includes such steps as managing garbage so that the environment becomes less attractive for the cockroaches. It is advisable to keep garbage in sturdy, tightly covered containers. This prevents cockroaches from breeding and reduces the attraction for other insects too. If the kitchen food garbage can be composted on a daily basis, the trash is not expected to be attractive to insects. Wherever composting is not possible, just wrap up kitchen garbage tightly; take it out frequently to a covered trashcan, and ensure that it is disposed off in sealed plastic bags. Don’t let old clothes, newspapers and other trash to accumulate in storage rooms as these provide attractive breeding environment for cockroaches. Promptly cleaning up spilled food and eliminating damp conditions around the premises are other measures for effective cockroach control. Crawling pests tend to intrude through cracks in or around the foundation of the building or siding. An annual inspection of the foundation and siding and caulking cracks if any, is a smart preventive option for cockroach invasion. Particular attention should be given to the exterior plumbing and electric outlets to avoid the unwanted cockroaches’ arrival. Door thresholds should have good weather-stripping under them. E m p t y s o f t d r i n k bo t t l e s ,


cardboard boxes and paper bags should not be allowed to accumulate. Food containers should be sealed and any crumbs or spillage should be cleaned up promptly. You may need professional help in treating a cockroach infestation particularly if you run a commercial food outlet, and their technicians may use an insecticidal spray around the boundary of the property, between the walls and floor, behind equipment in vents and ducting. It is advisable to leave the treated areas undisturbed for as long as possible. It will be necessary for the pest management professionals to re-treat the premises to eliminate the possibility of new nymphs as they emerge from their eggs.

Chemical and Non-chemical Management Va c u u m i n g c a n r e m o v e a significant number of cockroaches and egg cases from the environment and can be quite effective when combined with other methods. When possible, use vacuums with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to reduce cockroach debris that may become airborne. Sticky traps help capture cockroaches but generally do not capture enough insects so as to be a pragmatic option to help reduce a cockroach problem. However, they are a useful management tool to monitor for the presence of cockroaches. Yo u c a n a l s o e l i m i n a t e cockroaches which may be infesting your toasters, clocks, or boxes through non-chemical methods. Just put those items in a plastic bag, wrap them up, and put the bag/s in a freezer. In winters, you could set the bag outside when temperatures are low. Leave the bag

in the cold for five days to eliminate pest infestation from your toasters or clocks. Of course, clean the item thoroughly after that before bringing it back indoors. It is often necessary to introduce insecticide in tandem with nonchemical measures to eliminate a cockroach infestation. Insecticides, however, are much more effective when they are concertedly used along with sanitation, harbourage reduction, and other non-chemical measures. However, these insecticides should be used in guidance with the experts or with lots of precautions. In most cases, it is best to hire an experienced pest management company to treat the cockroaches with insecticides. These professionals are likely to have the requisite experience, skills and tools at their disposal to successfully eliminate these pests, particularly when the cockroach problem becomes too challenging for you to handle. At the same time, your cooperation with the technician in improving sanitation of the environment concerned and reducing harbourage areas can play an important role in the preventive management of cockroaches. One of the common insecticides (chemical) for cockroaches is boric acid. Boric acid is acidic form of borax, which can be used as an antiseptic also. Boric acid may be used alone or in combination with assorted baiting techniques. Boric acid is an effective tool for controlling cockroaches in restaurants and other buildings. Boric acid is lethal to cockroaches, but is low in toxicity for people. It is also odourless and contains no volatile solvents. Gel baits and sticky pads are other effective measures to prevent the invasion of cockroaches. ■

May-June ’12


The New Age of

Green Cleaning By Ashok Malkani


s people become health conscious, they are not just evaluating their diet and food intake but are also observing the effects of their actions on the environment inside and around their homes. One of the first priorities


for such people is to discard those cleaning products that contain harmful chemicals, which are liable to cause health problems. It is also found that more households and commercial properties are now turning to green products as they become aware of the dangers of environment pollution. Even in the everyday cleaning of homes and hotels, green cleaning is today widely encouraged. Green cleaning can have several interpretations, but its main goal is to use cleaning solutions and methods that keep our environment healthy. Green cleaning techniques avoid the use of products which contain various harmful doses of toxic chemicals, or cleaning products which emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs); which have potential to cause respiratory and dermatological problems among other adverse health affects. Keeping track of the changing needs of our times, the hospitality industry too is slowly, but surely, embracing the eco-friendly products for cleanliness. The initial skepticism about the beneďŹ ts of green cleaning has slowly given away and integration of eco-friendly measures in the hotels

has become the order of the day. A lot many Indian hotels too have made green cleaning a part of their business plan and budget as a lot many guests in the hotels today maintain an environment friendly lifestyle and seek to avoid allergic reactions arising from chemicals. As investing in the green technologies requires a huge sum of capital, the hotels can start the green initiatives with a few small and easy eco-friendly measures that can go a long way in reducing the cost of operations as well as facilitating in retaining guests. Using cleaning products that cause least harm to the environment is therefore regarded as a pragmatic approach to join the green bandwagon. In fact, what is interesting to note is that such green initiatives also help the commercial enterprises to maintain a healthy bottom line as they can make the employees happy and healthy, apart from soothing the environmental conscience of their valued guests.

The Danger Within Every nook and cranny of a home, hotel or any commercial building, whether it comes to regular use or not, requires some amount of cleaning. Making the indoors snazzy requires extensive use of several cleaning

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products. But ironically, we often end up causing more harm to our health and dirtying the environment in our war against dirt and germs. If you think your home or building is free from pollution, a few inconvenient facts may raise your eyebrows. Take for example the indoor air quality. The presence of pollutants in indoor air is often found to be two to more than 100 times higher than the pollutants in outdoor air. Therefore the first step of adopting a green cleaning method would be to open a window, whenever the weather permits; to let the pollutants find some way out. Recent medical and scientific studies have also suggested that chronic exposure to low levels of synthetic chemicals and toxins found in indoor air pollution may be linked to numerous health concerns, including but not limited to allergies, asthma, autoimmune diseases, cancer, Alzheimer’s, ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder); and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. It is the responsibility of the management of the property to be aware of the quality of all the cleaning products that are used by the in-house housekeeping staff and housekeeping contractors. Those synthetic room fresheners that are commonly used for cleaning purposes often emit VOCs and other toxic chemicals. They make the indoor air quality unhealthy and can cause respiratory problems and irritation on eyes and skin. A study published in New Scientist reveals that at homes where aerosol sprays and air fresheners were used frequently, mothers experienced 25 percent more headaches and were

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19 percent more likely to suffer from depression, and infants under six months of age had 30 percent more ear infections and 22 percent higher incidence of diarrhea. While most fragrances are harmful for people suffering from asthma and allergy, aerosol propellants contain flammable and non-biodegradable ingredients as well as tiny particles that can affect the lungs. Some cleaning detergents that contain alkyphenol ethoxylates, which are non-biodegradable, can threaten wildlife after they go down the drain and come in contact with the animals and plants. It has also been confirmed through several scientific researches that harmful phthalates found in the fragrances of detergents and fabric softeners can cause cancer and harm the reproductive system of the animals. Harmful phosphates, which are no longer used in most laundries and dish washing soaps, can still be found in some dishwasher detergents. Apart from choking the waterways, it can also prove fatal if swallowed. Phosphates can cause the eutrophication of water bodies, which can cause depletion of oxygen, and affect water quality. Antibacterial soaps which are widely used in liquid form, can help in the growth of resistant bacteria. One should also be careful about not mixing bleach (also known as sodium hypochlorite and sodium hydroxide) with any product containing ammonia or quaternium compounds as the mixture can create highly toxic chlorine gas. Thus before deciding to scrub your bathroom with all kinds stored bleaches, you should better be careful as they can expose you to toxic elements. According to the experts, it is not only the constitution of the product that maters, but the method of using the product is also equally important. In one single bathroom itself, people generally use different products for cleaning the different parts. While the toilet is cleaned with a different product, the surface requires some other substance. The mildew from tiles is cleaned with a different product and the mirror with a different one. Due to the exposure to different kinds of products, the cumulative harm that the non eco-friendly products could cause to the individual can be much more



than the manufacturer of one product may assume. According to the environment activists, VOCs which are used to enhance the performance of a product can impair neurological functions, while other chemicals can act as respiratory irritants, carcinogens or reproductive toxins, depending upon the extent of exposure. What makes cleaning a risky proposition in India is that in our country there is hardly any regulation of cleaning chemicals, and knowing the constituents of the products is also very difficult as labelling is often non-existent or inadequate. While everyone agrees that air purity at homes is adversely affected by aerosols and fragrances, as well as by air-conditioners, one aspect that people tend to overlook is that of vacuuming of carpets, sofas and hard surfaces. The soils that concentrate on carpets not only affect the appearance of the carpets, but also damage the fibres, forcing early replacements of the costly carpets. The dust particles depositing on the carpets can also cause serious harm to human health over a period of time, as they are inhaled deep into the lungs.

A Healthy Alternative Most of the conventional cleaning products we use or are habituated to use are petroleum-based and have adverse health and environmental influences. As the petroleum-based cleaning products that are conventionally used in housekeeping activities can


affect the environment and health of the people adversely, quite obviously products which can keep the premises spic and span without the toxic side effects, have slowly emerged as the preferred cleaning alternative in these relatively environmentally conscious times. Many of these green cleaning products are nontoxic, biodegradable, and made from renewable resources. Use of vinegar, baking soda or turmeric can address your green cleaning needs. According to a spokesperson of one of the leading vacuum cleaning manufacturers, “Dust contains a host of harmful elements including heavy metals such as lead, which can affect the development of a child’s brain.” Inhaling dust particles can also cause asthma and flu as they

petrochemical and natural ‘green’ cleaners it does not add ingredients that result into increased BOD [Biological Oxygen Demand] and COD [Chemical Oxygen Demand] levels; the indicators for the energy consumption used in treating waste water. Increasing eco-sensitivity among the entrepreneurs, and easy availability of eco-friendly products have also induced the housekeeping services to change their approach and offer better solutions that can take care of not only the health and hygiene of the employees and guests, but also of the environment. This, in turn, has encouraged the competition among the manufacturers of eco-friendly range of cleaning products. As people not only at homes but also at hotels

can contain pollen, mold spores and other allergens. Dust particles also often carry residues of pesticides and cleaning chemicals, and harmful bacteria. The green vacuum cleaners are therefore now regarded as very effective as they keep the potentially harmful dust particles out from the air; by sucking up the dust particles from the air. A new method of cleaning that has gained currency in the recent years is the use of naturally occurring enzymes and bacteria for cleaning dirt and waste. Enzymatic cleaning also reduces energy consumption of waste water treatment plants considerably, as unlike traditional

and other commercial properties are opting for green cleaning products, manufacturers of these cleaning products need to meet the expectations of the people in order to grow their business. With the people becoming more health and hearth conscious and endeavouring to keep the environment clean by adopting green practices, there is ample scope for entrepreneurs to venture into manufacturing of green cleaning products. There is also an urgent need for manufacturers of green cleaning products to display the ingredients used in the products on their labels. This would increase their ■ marketability.

May-June ’12


Cleaning Needs

Steam By Swarnendu Biswas


team, the gaseous state of water, has great potential to clean. These days, steam cleaning solutions have acquired wide applications in the cleaning industry. It has both domestic as well as industrial usage, ranging from cleaning of carpets in homes to removing grease and dirt from machines in factories. At the same time, it can be widely used in automobile, hospitality, healthcare, and food & beverages industry. There are many advantages of steam cleaning. Steam can easily and effectively clean because it can reach high temperatures above the boiling point of water in pressurised atmospheres. It effectively re-hydrates and breaks the bonds of dirt and grime, and thus steam cleaning makes it easy for the user to clean the surfaces.

Safe and Cost-effective Cleaning The absence of potentially harmful and expensive chemicals can enable steam cleaning to provide environmentally safe and cost-effective cleaning solutions at homes as well as industries. “Steam cleaning is not a miracle technology, however in most of the cases, it reduces the use of chemicals by almost 90 percent which means a sustained saving month-on-month to the end customer and huge benefits to the environment,” explained Ravindra Bhatia, Chairman and Managing Director of Nutech Group, which is a Faridabad-based group specialising in consultancy, engineering, design, development, and production of cleaning and hygiene systems. Nutech Group also provides training, placement, and contractual cleaning services to its customers. Since steam is primarily water based, it does not leave any harmful residue on surfaces. Also, it doesn’t have unseemly stained effects on clothing, hence its application in laundry is widespread. As steam decimates well-known bacteria such as e-coli, listeria, and salmonella, the influence of steam cleaning operations in food & beverage and healthcare industries also cannot be underscored.


Potent and Penetrating Besides, steam cleaning has extremely potent cleansing capability and is extremely easy to use. “The molecules of dry vapour steam are considerably smaller than water molecules, which means they are able to penetrate in a far more intensive way compared to water, detergents or chemicals; resulting in deep cleaning,” proffered Ravindra. The Chairman rightly views that the ability of steam cleaning to “reach hard to reach areas is incredible.” “In addition, the dry steam is very hot at the release point, which means the targeted area expands significantly, and the grime is far easily removed than through other conventional cleaning solutions. An example of this is a stainless steel surface where steam expands the pores of the surface and flushes out any build-up of grime that cannot be removed when you use normal cleaning methods,” pointed out Ravindra. Ravindra sums up that, “Dry vapour steam is an environmentally-friendly and safe method of deep cleaning of any washable surface by using the latent heat and moisture to open the microscopic pores contained in most solid surfaces. Yes, for even glass and metal where chemicals find difficulty to reach trapped dirt or stained particles, steam cleaning can be an impeccable cleaning solution.” Saves Time, Not Residue Steam cleaning also saves on valuable time in housekeeping and industrial production, as it cleans and dries surfaces very quickly. Moreover, there is no after effect of unhygienic residues in steam cleaning. Furthermore, according to Ravindra, “Steam cleaning improves the freshness of the air at your premises by removing the ill effects of chemicals and chemical residue, if any, from surface. It is a perfect cleaning option for those who are suffering from chemical allergies and have sensitivity to chemicals. It also prevents transfer of smell in food preparation areas.” Its role in saving on

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PROFILE water also cannot be overlooked in these days of environmentally-friendly housekeeping. I queried Ravindra about the characteristics of modern steam cleaning machines, which have commercial applications. ”The modern commercial steam cleaning machines are able to heat water to temperatures of about 150 -180 degree Celsius. When steam of this temperature leaves through the nozzle of the steam cleaner, it cools and expands considerably. This results into production of about 500 litres of dry vapour steam from just 1 litre of water, and it is dense enough to clean, de-grease and sanitise at the same time,” explained the tech-savvy entrepreneur.

Steam Cleaning With Partek Nutech Group, which is dedicated to preserve the environment, has a number of high quality steam cleaning machines, suitable for various institutional and industrial requirements, under the purview of its Partek brand. “Our machines clean washrooms, tiled floors, wooden floors, food preparation surfaces in kitchens and factories, deep freezers, bakery equipment, ice cream parlours, beauty parlours and are used in car detailing service companies, and we have successfully made inroads in hospitality, healthcare, food processing and automobile servicing,” informed Ravindra. With over twenty-seven years of institutional experience, Nutech has created an impressive range of smart cleaning machines & smart cleaning tools under their brand Partek. “The whole idea was to offer our customers with a diversified range, which complements their style and offers value for money,” explained Ravindra. Manufactured at world-class factories located in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France, UK, Sweden, USA and Japan, the Partek brand meets ISO 9001, TUV & EC standards. The products of Partek have widespread presence across Delhi, NCR, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttranchal, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu & Andhra Pradesh, and the Nutech Group has its operational presence in Delhi, NCR, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Bhiwadi, Udaipur, Bikaner, Ahmedabad, Indore, Anand (Gujarat), Bhubaneshwar, Kolkata, Trichy, Chennai, Coimbatore, and Pondicherry. I asked Ravindra about some of the steam cleaning machines offered by Partek. He was quite happy to oblige. “Partek Alpha is our professional entry level steam cleaning machine, which is applicable for small areas. It is also the highest selling model among our steam cleaning machines so far. It is a simple, compact and very reliable machine with strong internal parts. It is very easy to use with minimal training and offers surprising results with ease due to all the controls on the handle,” elaborated Ravindra. Partek Alpha has wide range of steam cleaning applications. “It is endowed with an array of standard and optional accessories to clean hard floors, tiled floors, wooden floors, carpets, work surfaces, grouts in between the tiles, wash basins & fittings, bath tubs and shower cubicles, glass and mirrors, wall paper and sticker removing, air-condition grill cleaning, wall cleaning, mattress cleaning, etc.” The other steam cleaning machines under the Partek brand is the Partek Steam N Vac, which is a

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professional medium duty machine applicable for small to medium areas, and Partek Steam n Vac HD, which is a professional heavy duty machine, applicable for medium to large surfaces. “As the name suggests, Partek Steam & Vac is a professional machine with many added features over our entry level Partek Alpha machine. Most importantly, it has an inbuilt vacuum unit to instantly dry any surface while steam cleaning. It has higher pressure and steam flow to do your job faster. The water supply to the machine is through an additional water tank, which ensures that you can work continuously without stopping the machine for water refill,” articulated the environmentally-conscious corporate honcho. Partek Steam & Vac has the provision to add detergent for deep spray-extraction cleaning of carpets if required, and can also function as a wet & dry vacuum. Moreover, the functions for steam, detergent and vacuum regulation are on the handle which facilitates great ease of operations. “All the electrical controls are of low voltage to facilitate the safety of the operator, “ added Ravindra. Partek Steam & Vac can also address the cleaning of varied surfaces. The accessories of the machine make it suitable for hard floors, tiled floors, wooden floors, carpet & upholstery cleaning, work surfaces, grouts in between the tiles, wash basins & fittings, bath tubs and shower cubicles, glass and mirrors, wall paper and sticker removing, air-condition grill cleaning, wall cleaning, mattress cleaning, curtain cleaning, car interior cleaning among other cleaning applications. Partek Steam n Vac HD is a heavy duty steam cleaner built for rugged applications where continual duty is needed. It is built from quality components and has a completely stainless steel make. “The machine has 10 bar pressure and higher steam flow compared to our normal Steam n Vac machine but still can operate on 230V single phase. The boiler as well as the tank are big and spacious enough to help clean large areas. It has an easy to read digital control panel and is equipped with the very important feature of hot water flushing. The strong suction and the possibility to add detergent along with steam add to the functionality of this machine,” asserted Ravindra. According to him, the machine has accessories suitable for all the major applications “to steam clean, degrease and disinfect washable surfaces. It is specially designed for industrial use and for food hygiene.” Ravindra rightly thinks that “due to its ability to clean, degrease, remove baked in deposits, and Ravindra Bhatia for that matter to sanitise any surface, steam cleaning will become one of the most popular cleaning technologies in the near future.” He believes that steam cleaning machines are the best option for areas which do not involve much moisture content. Apart from that, it also compliments other cleaning systems because of its versatility, and environment- friendly nature. ■



Food Safety for All

Seasons By A.Ganesh


he cooling showers after hot scorching summers are delightful to the senses but they bring with them an increased susceptibility to a lot of diseases that are peculiar to the monsoon. Also monsoons are not free from their share of food hygiene problems. The hot and humid climate gives viruses and bacteria an ideal environment to survive and thrive. Food-borne illnesses account for some of the grave and life threatening dangers in kitchens. Thus during monsoons, when diseases and infections are rampant, it is very important for people working in the food industry to ensure that the level of hygiene maintained in food items, kitchens and food related areas is high. Food-borne illnesses are caused largely by disease causing bacteria or by poisonous toxins, which they produce. These bacteria can quickly spread and find their way into food via the food chain, i.e. from soil and water, raw produce, kitchen surfaces, hands of food handlers, food handling equipment, food service utensils, food served, etc. The top three reasons for food poisoning include poor time-temperature controls, cross-contamination and poor personal hygiene. These are something that any food handler cannot afford to overlook, and they have more potential to spread during monsoons. Kitchens, if not kept clean, can become hot spots for harmful microbes. Diseases that are spread during monsoon may be waterborne, air-borne or vector-borne.


These include typhoid, cholera and non-cholera gastroenteritis, dysentery, jaundice due to hepatitis A&E. air-borne diseases like influenza, mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever, malaria & Japanese encephalitis. Other diseases which emerge particularly during monsoons are leptospirosis (also known as Weil’s Syndrome), conjunctivitis, etc. Here are a few tips on preventing food-borne illnesses

in commercial food preparation areas, particularly during monsoons and other seasons in general.

Food Safety in Kitchens The Chef and other senior kitchen staff should take the following precautions / measures to ensure optimum food safety in commercial kitchens. I. Supplier Safety Assurance The food safety starts with the

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TRAINING and preparation utensils should be cleaned within 2 hours of their use.

Waste Handling Do not leave garbage out in the open. It needs to be disposed off as quickly as possible in a proper manner. Get rid of decomposing food debris. Garbage bins may be lined with polythene and lidded when not in use to discourage flies and prevent cross-contamination. Ensure that all drains are protected with drain traps for cockroaches. supplier and therefore it should be ensured that food materials and ingredients are purchased only from reputed, known and approved suppliers. Ensure checking of all food consignments as per specifications. Be selective about certain sea foods like prawns, crabs, shellfish, etc. which can harbour infectious germs. II. Safe Water Water is an essential component of the human body and is consumed in its original stage and as a food ingredient. It is also used for washing foods and food contact surfaces. Contamination of distribution water can be rampant during rains due to leaking pipes and contaminated water at source, which if not adequately disinfected and treated can harbour infectious microbes. All water consumed as a drink must be thoroughly filtered and treated to render it bacteria safe. A residual chlorine level of 0.2 ppm at a minimum and 0.5 ppm at a maximum should be available in drinking water at point of use. III. Disinfected Food Contact Surfaces Use separate chopping boards and utensils including cutting and trimming implements for vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods. These should be disinfected between uses, especially for non-vegetarian food, and before being used to handle ready-to-eat food. Disinfecting can be carried out in boiling water for 2 minutes or in a solution of 200 ppm chlorine for 20 minutes, after washing. Do not forget to disinfect knives and cleaning cloths.

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Time–temperature Controls The temperature danger zone (TDZ) for disease causing bacterial build-up is from 5–60 degree Centigarde. Hence the golden rule is to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. For frozen foods, the holding temperature should not exceed -12 degree Centigrade or temperatures that permit thawing. • If your fridge is not equipped with temperature monitoring device you need to leave one inside to ensure that the temperature does not exceed 7 degree Centrigrade. • Do not leave perishables / ready to eat food in the temperature danger zone for over four hours. • Cook food properly. If microwave is used to prepare food, one must ensure that food is heated to at least 70 degree Centigarde. • Never allow the food to thaw on the kitchen work surface but preferably in the microwave or in a refrigerator and always on a dish. Clean as You Go Keep all food handling and storage areas clean and remove unwanted materials. Ensure that hidden and inaccessible areas are kept to a minimum and maintained clean to guard against pests which can spread diseases. Apply targeted use of an anti-microbial cleaning product for work surfaces which come into direct food contact like chopping boards, work tables, dish sponge, dish cloth and cleaning cloth; fridge shelves, handles and gaskets; and electrical kitchen appliances which come into direct contact with food. Food service

Conscientious Hand Washing Use soap and water with a rubbing action for 20 seconds to clean hands. The rubbing action should include the palms, the dorsal side of the palm, and the area between the fingers and around the fingers, the nails (could also be done with a nail brush), thumbs and the exposed part of the hand; up to the wrist or beyond as applicable. The nails for food handlers and servers need to be short and rounded in any case. It should be mandatory for the kitchen staff to wash hands after using the rest room, after break, before start of food preparation activity, after touching body parts or garbage handling, or after any other activity that has the possibility to contaminate your hands. Remember, hands are active carrier of microbes from the outside environment into the food, through the kitchen. Hand disinfection after thorough washing is best carried out with alcoholic rub-in hand sanitisers. Thus a little effort on your part, coupled with care and caution, will ensure that your customers get healthy and hygienic food to eat and return with a smile on their face during this monsoon, and also during all seasons. The writer is the Director Marketing, Diversey India Pvt. Ltd.



Safety Concerns in

Water Storage


ost of the residential and commercial buildings use cisterns as a drinking water supply source. They include rooftop cisterns, attic cisterns, groundlevel and below-ground-level water storage cisterns. A cistern is basically a water reservoir of any kind which is used to accumulate and store water for future use. Cisterns are usually constructed close to the building, whose residents are supposed to use their water. They may be above ground or below ground level Sometimes they are constructed


inside the building too. Water from a cistern is typically pumped out by hand, drained by gravity, or it may be pumped by an electric pump such as a one line jet pump. Cisterns to store water for drinking or agricultural purposes are widely used in dry areas where rainwater runoff may be stored for future use. However all water storage cisterns that are to be used for drinking or potable water supplies are at risk of contamination either from external sources or from bacterial growth during the water storage interval. Cisterns in attics are an open-type

water storage reservoir or a water pressure boosting system similar in function to rooftop cisterns and water storage tanks. A cistern was generally placed where it could be fed by gravity from roof or surface runoff, but any indoor open topped reservoir of water could also be called a cistern. Attic cisterns or water tanks are installed in some buildings to perform the same function as rooftop-mounted water tanks. Other smaller attic containers that look like a water reservoir may have been just an expansion tank for the heating boiler system. Outdoor cisterns are often located in the basement or courtyard of buildings where they collect rainwater for future use. In arid areas very large cisterns are often placed in a courtyard where they collect rainwater for use during the dry season. Building owners prefer the ground-level water storage cistern to the more traditional below-ground cisterns because the above-ground or on-ground rainwater tank can at least avoid contamination from surface water runoff that otherwise can enter a below-ground cistern. In a seasonally damp climate, an in-use basement cistern would certainly be a likely source of unwanted building moisture and would thus be a risk towards problematic mold growth.

Advice for Cistern Construction Be sure the cistern is of sound construction and that it is safely covered or protected to prevent someone falling into the cistern or from a child climbing into it. Ensure direct roof runoff and not surface runoff into the cistern. Some clever roof runoff management systems direct the ďŹ rst roof runoff onto the ground, permitting dust and debris from the roof surface to be disposed-of before the remaining roof runoff is directed into the cistern for water storage. Other water sources may be used to supply cisterns, including even local or municipal water supplies.

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SANITATION Do not assume that water stored in a cistern is potable prior to filtering and treatment. The water should be tested for contaminants before used for drinking; it is fine to use cistern water for watering plants or lawns if that water usage is suitable and permitted by other conditions. Furthermore, do not install an open, un-covered cistern in a building where moisture from the cistern could cause a mold or rot problem. Some water storage tanks are made of plastic polyethylene terephthalate aka PET. It should be remembered that PET plastic water tanks may be a health risk for consumers. PET is a thermoplastic polymer polyester plastic resin. Recently researchers have raised serious questions about potential health and environmental concerns for PET or PETE plastics. Also it is necessary to provide access to the cistern for inspection and cleaning. It is pragmatic to remember that if you intend to rely on an electrical pump to move water from the cistern to its point of use during bad weather and possible power outage, your pump will need a backup source of electricity.

Water Storage Tank Safety Water tank pressure relief valves (that sense pressure only, not temperature) are required on pressurised tanks such as water tanks in buildings. Small brass fitting to the right of the drain valve is a pressure relief valve needed on any pressurised tank. However, on your water system this component may be located differently. Every tank which

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is pressurised (such as by water or air) should have a pressure relief valve installed. However, most water tanks operate at relatively low pressures, up to perhaps 60 psi, as higher water pressure in buildings tends to cause leaks at faucets and toilets. In the unlikely event that a pump pressure control is damaged and refuses to turn the pump off, pressures in the system, particularly if a submersible (in-well) pump is installed, can become high enough to rupture a water tank. This is particularly true if the tank is old, rusted, or otherwise damaged. The water tank pressure relief valve is marked indicating that it will open at water pressure equal to or greater than 75 psi. That pressure is pretty standard, and you will get to see the 75 psi figure on valves used on water tanks and on some tankless water heaters too. If a pressure relief valve is not installed on your water tank ask your plumber to provide one promptly.

Water Storage Tank Safety Checklist Be sure that the storage tank doesn’t attract the attention of children or teens, and that the tank is protected from entry of a child or animal. Confirm chemical compatibility of the product being stored with that of the polyethylene tank and fittings. Tanks are to be used at atmospheric pressure only. Make sure tanks are vented as required to prevent pressure or vacuum from developing. Prevent excessive heat near or inside the tank. Polyethylene tanks are designed for a maximum continuous temperature of 70 degree Farenheit. Have and use Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for the product being stored. Regard tanks as confined spaces. Follow proper entry procedures. Do not stand on tank domes as the surface tend to be flexible and slippery. Do not move tanks while holding liquid and never allow personnel under a tank when it is being lifted!

Water Storage Tank Installation Checklist Protect personnel from chemical danger in the event of a leak and protect the tank from traffic damage and excessive heat. Tanks should be designed for above ground use only. Utilise adequate secondar y containment according to particular chemical danger and governmental and industry requirements. Fully support the entire bottom of the tank on a clean, smooth concrete foundation. Fa i l u re t o p r ov i d e p r o p e r foundation and support constitutes a misuse of the tank and is likely to make your warranty void. Fill the usable capacity of the tank with water and hydro test up to a minimum of five hours after installation and also before the product is introduced so as to ensure tank and fitting integrity. Install labels for chemic al warning that complies with all local requirements. Water Storage Tank Operating Parameters Temperature —Tank specific gravity ratings based on product temperature of 70° F. Pressure — Atmospheric pressure must be maintained in tank at all times Ventilation — Make sure the tank is properly vented for the type of material and flow rates expected. Plumbing — Flexible connections required to preserve warranty. Water Storage Tank Maintenance Guidelines Water tanks should be inspected on a routine basis. Clean the exterior and interior of the tank, because you cannot properly inspect a dirty tank.. Also inspect the exterior and interior of the tank for problems of cracking and brittleness. Pay particular attention to areas around fittings and where different planes of the tank radius into one another. Inspect fittings and exterior gaskets for leaks and signs of general ■ corrosion and deterioration.



Maintaining I

IAQ in Schools

ndoor air pollutants can be 2-5 times higher, and occasionally 100 times higher, than outdoor pollution levels. Nearly 28 percent of the population does spend their days inside elementary and secondary schools. It is estimated that most of the nation’s schools have problems linked to poor indoor air quality. IAQ is important for health, economic, and legal reasons. Indoor air pollutants can cause discomfort and reduce school attendance and productivity. Moreover, they can cause or contribute to short and long-term health problems, including asthma, respiratory tract infection and disease, allergic reactions, headaches, nasal congestion, eye and skin irritations, coughing, sneezing, fatigue, dizziness and nausea. Moreover, poor indoor air quality can hasten the deterioration of health of the inmates. Study of a school showed that money spent on preventive maintenance and repairs could have been avoided by maintaining IAQ. In addition, poor indoor air quality can contribute to the closing of schools, create liability problems, and strain relationships among parents, teachers, and the school administration. Presently, the general standard of indoor air quality in our schools is far from satisfactory. Our schools need to adopt a comprehensive plan to monitor and improve the indoor air quality on a war footing.


What is an Effective IAQ Management Plan? An effective IAQ management plan entails a comprehensive, district specific set of policies and procedures, established to maintain and improve indoor air quality. An effective IAQ management plan must include: • An on-site certified IAQ Coordinator; • An overall evaluation (walkthrough) performed on all school district buildings; • The evaluation of specific building systems (classrooms, ventilation system, maintenance operations), using checklists or a comparable method; • A written set of policies and schedules that describes ways to correct the identified IAQ problems, prevent future problems, and respond to emergencies and concerns; • An annual review of the plan, including school board approval. An effective IAQ management plan should also be tailored to meet the goals and needs of a specific school. In that sense, it should be flexible enough. At the same time, expectations of an IAQ management plan must be realistic and manageable so that commitment from the school board, the administration, and the staff can be achieved. Effective IAQ management plan may also cover other cleaning programs in its ambit that could facilitate in maintaining good air quality within school buildings, such as an Integrated Pest Management program.

How to Help Schools Develop IAQ Management Plans? Government’s health department and educational departments / boards, in collaboration with local operators should offer several annual trainings to school authorities as well as students from time to time, pertaining to maintaining of indoor air quality at their premises. Training announcements should be posted on the educational boards’ / schools’ websites and around educational premises. Training must be made mandatory for the school operators, teachers and students. These trainings should offer indoor air quality tools for school materials, introduce general IAQ principals, describe common problems and solutions pertaining to indoor air quality, and present the procedures for developing an IAQ management plan. Educational boards must also create an IAQ management package, which should include instructions to develop a plan, links to checklists, a model IAQ management plan, and other relevant material. This model plan should cover the requirements for an effective and region-specific management plan, and should draw on information from existing IAQ management plans for local schools, and from other published resources. Government’s health department also have to be actively involved in providing practical and scientifically sound information on mold and asthma triggers and also on other

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IAQ IAQ topics, and information on the proper remedy of indoor air pollution in schools. School officials, including officials from charter and nonpublic schools, may request technical (not financial) assistance from the Government’s health department & educational boards in this regard.

Actions to Improve Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Every member of the school community can and should play a role in monitoring and improving the air quality in school buildings. Much of the responsibility to maintain and improve IAQ should rest with the facility members. By becoming IAQ-conscious and taking some simple preventive and corrective actions, one can influence the health and productivity of all the people engaged in the school. These steps can complement or be a part of the IAQ management plan. (I) Ventilation System Clean Filters: The filters in the building’s ventilation system remove particulates, but when they become excessively dirty due to lack of maintenance, they can increase energy costs. Check the filters in the air-handling units to see that they are clean, fitted tightly, and have the appropriate filtering efficiency. Replace the filter more often if it seems very dirty. Air Intakes and Air Return Vents: Check that pollutant sources (such as idling vehicle emissions, garbage, and plumbing and furnace exhausts) are at least 30 feet away from air intakes. Implement the law on limiting the idling of school buses. Make sure that air intakes are not blocked and dampers are fully operable. Also ensure that chemicals and pets are

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not housed near return air vents. Repair the air handling unit(s), replace or repair broken parts such as torn belts, broken dampers, cracked drain pipes, blocked air intakes, etc. whenever necessary, without undue delay. (II) Air Movement Check that air is being delivered to rooms by holding tissue paper up to delivery vents. Check for exhaust fans or robust ventilation in rooms with photocopiers and other chemical producing equipment—such equipment should be located away from occupants. Make sure louvers in doors and other building structures are not covered or blocked. Consider allowing several air exchanges before areas become occupied, to reduce possible contaminant levels. (III) Cleanliness Check the rooms that house ventilation equipment and the accessible areas of the air-handling unit(s). There should be no standing water or stored chemicals, and minimal amounts or dirt and other debris. (IV) Exhaust Ventilation Check the local exhaust systems (kitchens, bathrooms, art, shop, science classes, housekeeping storage, etc.) using tissue paper or smoke testing, to assure air is being exhausted to the outside.

Building Maintenance • Make all staff aware that moisture problems (such as spills and leaks) should be reported immediately. Dry or replace moisture damage materials within 48 hours, to prevent mold growth. • Leave a couple of inches of space between furniture and walls, to facilitate air circulation and prevent moisture accumulation. • Cut back trees and shrubs those are touching the school walls or boundaries. If you find mold, remove it — replace the material or clean hard surfaces with non-ammonia based detergent. Do not spray bleach on mold! You need to physically remove the mold.

Cleaning and Chemicals • Check your storage closets to see that they are secure. Cleaning chemicals should be capped tightly, and that only chemicals that are truly necessary should be stored and used. • Consider purchasing cleaning products that emit lower levels of volatile organic compounds, such as environmentally preferable products. This could reduce staff and student complaints. • Talk to maintenance staff to see what areas need be cleaned more often, and what areas can be cleaned less frequently. • Try to vacuum carpets daily, especially in heavy use areas. • If feasible, purchase vacuum cleaners effective at capturing fine particles, such as High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter vacuum cleaners. • Do as much cleaning as possible when the school building is unoccupied. • Avoid using aerosol sprays — they produce fine mists that may cause health problems. • Avoid dry sweeping or dusting. This simply redistributes dust. Instead, clean hard surfaces with a damp cloth or microfiber mop. • Minimise the amount of fleecy materials (such as curtain and fabric partitions) and clutter (such as papers and boxes) in classrooms which may collect and release pollutants. Clutter also makes general cleaning more difficult. Additional Measures • Check that the drain traps are filled with water. Dried traps can allow sewer gases to enter rooms. • Walk-off mats remove dirt and moisture that would otherwise be tracked into buildings, which might lead to mold growth and dustiness. Check that there are walk-off mats at every entrance of the schools. • Check that surfaces under the mats are clean, they should not be wet or moldy. Make sure that they are effective at removing dirt and moisture. Moreover, they should be at least three steps long. • Consider landscaping that minimises dirt and moisture in front ■ of building entrances.



Tackling Wasteful Measures T

By Swarnendu Biswas

he huge deposits of untreated solid and liquid waste, strewn across the environment, do have the potential to incur huge costs in terms of health and hygiene. Without a comprehensive waste management or disposal system in place, no commercial or public building, or for that matter, no society is capable of addressing the essential requirements of clean and hygiene. But sadly the Indian governments, its corporate sector and as well as its civil society, by and large, are not at all serious about waste management issues. Even a cursory observation would reveal that polluting influences of waste has become an integral part of India’s environment. Here we would briefly discuss four forms of waste, namely biomedical waste, radioactive waste, industrial waste and e-waste, which have been plaguing our society since years.

A Potentially Lethal Waste One of the most hazardous forms of waste is the biomedical waste. It primarily includes laboratory or hospital waste, or waste generated from health clinics, nursing homes, dentists’ clinics, homes of veterinarians, and also funeral homes. They can be broadly categorised as human anatomical waste, animal waste, solid waste, liquid waste, waste sharp such as needles, syringes, glasses, blades, etc. and chemical waste. Biomedical waste could be contagious and dangerous, and the extent of their danger can even assume lethal overtones. The biomedical waste should be managed with great sensitivity and circumspection, so as to not only safeguard the health and well-being of the general public but also of the healthcare and sanitation workers, who are routinely exposed to biomedical


waste as an occupational hazard. The hospital staff should be properly trained in effectively managing the biomedical waste. Despite the presence of Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 1998, the current scenario in redressing this potential health threat is not fully satisfactory in India. The incidence of biomedical litter can be eliminated or significantly reduced by perking up of cleanliness and hygiene standards in hospitals, laboratories, clinics and nursing homes on a war footing. For that of course, the government, civil society and the medical fraternity must make a concerted effort. In India, the hospitals should go in for sophisticated technologies for the disposal of biomedical waste, which include incineration, autoclaving and microwaving, and the Union Gov e r n m e n t s h o u l d provide adequate assistance to the states so that these facilities are inducted and the right training towards disposal of biomedical waste is being given to the health personnel without any financial impediments. Of course, at the same time, the states must also ensure that the private hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, dispensaries, veterinary houses, blood banks, animal houses and pathological laboratories within their territories must adhere to the Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 1998 scrupulously, and are also able enough to do so.

Radiating Waste Another potentially harmful form of waste is the radioactive waste. It is likely to emit from badly managed hospitals and laboratories. The disposal of radioactive waste is a critical element of our modern society, which unfortunately, seldom gets its desired attention. Any waste product containing radioactive material/s can be termed as radioactive waste. In small doses, radioactivity is a useful process that has been used by the mankind for development purposes, but its exposure in large doses can be dangerous to human health. Exposure to a high dosage of radioactive waste can cause cancer, birth defects, genetic damage and many other serious life threatening or life altering ailments. Radioactive waste can occur from nuclear, medical, industrial, and even academic sources. Over the years, the populations across the globe have been affected by

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the increased infusion of radioactive materials on our already fragile environment. Thankfully, radioactivity reduces over time, and thus an effective way to counter the influence of radioactive waste is to keep the waste isolated over a period of time, until its components no longer pose a hazard. The process of isolation however, can extend from hours to many thousands of years, depending on the level or quantity of radioactive wastes, and also their half lives. Segregation and storage for short-lived radioactive waste, near-surface disposal for low and some intermediate level radioactive waste, and deep and secure burial for the high-level radioactive waste are regarded as widely held safe options.

Industrial and e-Waste Then there is the menace of industrial waste and e-waste, whose shameful deposits here, there and everywhere give a sad commentary on our lack of seriousness towards the pressing concerns of public hygiene. In India, mountains of industrial waste and e-waste are having detrimental effects on our environment, which in turn are compromising the public hygiene in a significant manner, as they have the potential of paving the way for a number of diseases, both of chronic and lethal nature. Untreated industrial waste could result in air and water pollution, which can facilitate a number of tropical waterborne diseases and breathing related disorders, but we as a society are hardly doing anything to curb this unhygienic corporate practice. If we do not force the corporates

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to recycle their industrial wastes effectively, the occurrence of another Bhopal Gas Tragedy in the future can’t be ruled away. The old dilapidated desk and laptop computers, discarded television sets, refrigerators, printers, mobile phones, and even discarded electronic toys can be collectively termed as e-waste. According to the experts, e-waste comprises many hazardous materials like PVC plastics, heavy metals and brominated flame retardants. Some electronic scrap components, such as CRTs, contain contaminants such as lead, cadmium, beryllium, mercury among others. Generally, Indian homes sell their discarded televisions, computers, and other assorted electronics items to the scrap dealers, from where they meander into unauthorised recycling wards. There these electronic components are usually torn, burn or melted for commercial purposes. In a plethora of unauthorised recycling wards scattered across the country, valuable and reusable metals are extracted from these e-wastes, and the rest are disposed. It is not that there is very less disposal of e-waste in India, but what is of serious concern that the disposal of e-waste in our country is usually accompanied with negative environmental fallouts. E-waste is valuable as a source of secondary raw material, but has toxic influences on the society if they are treated and discarded improperly. The process of recycling of e-waste in India is by and large unhygienic and characterised by health risks. The recycling of electronic waste in India does expose thousands of labourers working in informal sector to the toxic-heavy metals such as lead, mercury, arsenic, chromium, cadmium, etc. as these metals are

being extracted from the e-wastes for a variety of commercial purposes. These toxic metals, when they get infused with the environment, do have the potential to harm the brain and kidneys. Some of these metals from e-waste could have carcinogenic properties too. There is an urgent need for a comprehensive, safe and scientific method of e-waste collection, recycling and disposal of e-waste in India through public-private participation. At the same time, we must reduce the e-waste generation by changing our lifestyles. In this regard, the e-waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011, which was notified by the Ministry of Environment and Forest in May 2011, has come as a silver lining in an otherwise cloudy waste disposal scenario in India. It has come into effect from 1st May 2012. The ewaste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011 recognises the producers’

liability for recycling and reducing e-waste in the country. These rules, according to the guidelines of hazardous waste management division of Central Pollution Control Board, will be applicable to every producer, c on s u m e r o r b u l k c on s u m e r, collection centre, dismantler and recycler of e-waste involved in the manufacture, sale, purchase and processing of electrical and electronics equipment. These rules have the potential to translate a probable health menace into an opportunity for development, assuming that there would be sincere political will in its implementation, which however, all said and done, is ■ a rarity in India.


PRODUC T P R E V I E W DAZZLE YOUR FLOOR GRANITE AND MARBLE Quartz Home Care offers its experience & technology to introduce an ideal way of working with stone & creating high precision, flexible polishing system.’QHC’s polishing arts’ are among the leading processes being utilised in the abrasives industry today. The Japanese Dia Ceramica series have the flexible polishing pads, which enable them to polish any curved granite application. QHC’s system brings old stones back to life with no acids & no chemicals. Each step of the pad makes it possible to grind, hone and polish floor of granite & marble at a new construction & daily maintenance job sites.A great advantage of the system is a quick processing to complete a restoration in a limited renovation period. Quartz Home Care (I) Pvt. Ltd. A MODERN MANUAL CLEANING SOLUTION Galileo offers exceptional value for money for its range of manual cleaning tools.Galileo has launched Mop tools holder/organizer for better and smooth cleaning. The mop tools holder contains five mop/tool holder in a aluminum bracket made up of durable plastic. Each holder has been provided with a very strong gripper to hold the handles/tools. All the tools are provided with hooks for hanging dusters and mop refills. The easy to install tools are provided with two screws for fitment. To provide utmost operational efficiency along with long durability, the concept has been to deliver cost-effective solutions for core hard cleaning operations. Galileo Associates

LIORA KITCHEN ROLL For food and kitchen, whether it is a commercial or domestic operations, hygiene grabs the premium position. To maintain a hygienic kitchen and retain hygiene and freshness of the food, a role of Liora Kitchen is crucial. Its rolls add vitality to the life and simplify it with a range of tissues that are of day-to-day use. Processed at India’s biggest conversion unit, equipped with fully automated machines and with latest technology, Liora tissues are very hygienic for the kitchen use. These tissues are made from virgin pulp and softwood pulp tissue. Liora tissues are super soft and super absorbent, with no lint. Liora Kitchen rolls helps to keep the food hygienic and fresh all day long. They have the quality to retain the freshness, warmth and softness of the food intact for long. This tissue has a ‘special cellulose bonding’ which helps not to stick to the food and absorbs the extra oil. Scraft Products Pvt.Ltd ENTRANCE MATTING SYSTEM

Euronics has introduced a wide range of entrance mats (Recess

Aluminium Mat, Modular Mat, Carpet Mat, PVC Loop Mat, XMat) also known as ‘Commercial Clean Machine’. These are much more thicker, heavier and are superresilient, even under heavy foot traffic. Modular Matting, also known as ‘Montreo Modular Mat,’ has an integrated function of shovel, brush & bind i.e. anti-slip, scrapper and modular. Recessed Aluminium Matting, also known as ‘Dust-Buster,’ adds to your business’ overall appearance, cleanliness, customer satisfaction and safety. An investment in a Recessed Aluminium Mat is an investment in your business’ reputation and image. Carpet Mat, also known as ‘Montreo Carpet Matting,‘ absorbs moisture and fine dirt. PVC Matting, also known as ‘Trapper Matting,’ traps, hold and hides dirt. It is suitable for low, medium to heavy traffic areas. It is manufactured from extremely durable natural rubber, designed to offer the highest comfort factor and can withstand temperatures up to 160ºc. It fulfills all customer needs by offering wide range of colours, available in different sizes. The properties of the matting conform to the highest slip resistance tests and can significantly reduce cases of slips and trips. X Mat, also known as ‘X-Lerator Matting,’ is endowed with sharp edges; designed to remove heavy amount of dirt. These mats are recommended for all kinds of commercial & residential uses. Euronics Industries


he information published in this section is as per the details furnished by the r e s p e c t i v e m a n u f a c t u r e r / d i s t r i b u t o r. I n a n y c a s e , i t d o e s n o t r e p r e s e n t t h e v i e w s o f Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd.


May-June ’12

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY ASK FOR YOUR 2012 Hotel & Institutions Buyers’ Guide Y! TODA TODAY! The 2012 Hotels & Institutions Buyers’ Guide provides comprehensive information on more than 8000 products and over 5000 companies. It is the only editorial driven guide, providing latest updates and trends on the products & services. To get your 2012 Hotels & Institutions Buyers’ Guide contact our branch offices or e-mail us.

Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd. Delhi: Hammer Publishers Pvt. Ltd., 1202, Pragati Tower, 26, Rajindra Place, New Delhi-110008 Phone: 45084903, 25854103 / 05 Mumbai: 105, 1st Floor, Aarpee Centre, Gufic Compound, 11th Road, MIDC, Near Tunga Paradise, Andheri (E), Mumbai-400 093 Ph.: 91-22-28395833 Telefax: 91-22-28388947











































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May-June ’12






Infusing Hygiene in Hospitality W

ith 17 years of extensive and rich experience in the hospitality industry, Papri Das, the Executive Housekeeper, Galaxy Hotel, Shopping and Spa, has been efficiently and successfully handling the housekeeping department of the hotel. “Having spent so many years in the housekeeping and hotel industry, I have managed to gain thorough knowledge of the hotel operations. Over the years, I have also developed skills like team management and performance development,” she said. The excerpts of the interview with this seasoned professional follows: How important in your opinion is housekeeping to hospitality? Cleanliness and hygiene are the two most important prerequisites of any good hotel. Their standard plays an important role in the reputation of hotels. Decent room supplies and good quality of other housekeeping services like laundry and dry cleaning service show guest that the hotel is giving great importance to her/his comfort and the hotel wishes to please her/him. Besides these, from the cleanliness of the lobby and public areas, restaurants, cloakrooms, and from the state and cleanliness of uniform, a guest can judge a lot about the hotel. We can conclude that housekeeping department contributes greatly to the guests’ impression of the hotel. What is the modus operandi of housekeeping operations at your hotel? Our service standards are almost similar like any other internationally reputed hotels. We have special single lady amenities for single lady travellers. Guest service has personalised elements. Extra care is taken for the guests, based on their specific preferences and needs. What are the new trends in housekeeping in India? Please comment on the latest housekeeping scenario Earlier not much emphasis was given on 56

By Sharmila Chand experience. What is the role of the housekeeping staff in the context of safety and security of the guests and the property? The housekeeping department of the hotel has free access to guest rooms and corridors, and is an important source of security. In areas where guest’s privacy has to be maintained and CCTVs are not installed, like public areas, cloak rooms, etc. the housekeeping attendants are the only sources of security and to check any kind of untoward incident. It is a part of the training of the housekeeping personnel to be discreet in maintaining the safety and security of the guests and the property. the analysis of housekeeping operations of the property, or on the training of the housekeeping staff. However, now the trends in housekeeping have definitely changed with more focus on creativity, innovations, and training. The use of latest equipment, technologies and software with new processes and standard operating procedure in place are other developments as far as housekeeping in hotels go. Housekeeping requires rigorous training. How much of an emphasis does your hotel place on this? Training to enhance the skills of our staff is taken very seriously at Galaxy Hotel, Shopping and Spa. Every person recruited at Galaxy Hotel, Shopping and Spa goes through rigorous induction schedule before she/he is sent to the concerned department. Both on the job training and skill training are an on going process at our property. We have a dedicated training department at our hotel, guided by a Training Manager, who keeps a complete focus on the training needs of the organisation and facilitates comprehensive skill training. In our department we follow a ‘buddy system’ where the new team member is attached with a senior to get inducted and trained with the department’s procedure. What elements you take into account to recruit staff in the housekeeping department? The person must have an eye for detail, sense of hygiene and cleanliness, honesty and a good attitude. He must also be physically fit and must have previous

Any other input you would like to give in context of housekeeping in your hotel? The hotel has a very contemporary design which makes it a very challenging job to maintain the upkeep of the hotel. Constant upgradation of the housekeeping procedures and technologies is required from time to time to accomplish the job successfully. What are the challenges you have to face in your job responsibilities? With increasing number of new hotels coming up, getting good trained manpower is most challenging and besides that, it has become more difficult to retain good talent. The other challenge is coping up with an outsourced laundry where we have to be very careful with our inventory, quality and logistics. What do you like about your job? My job provides me with an opportunity to actively participate in the performance and development of the hotel. I also like my job because it makes me directly responsible for the upkeep of the standards of the hotel. What is it that you would like to change about your job? Firstly, I would prefer more use of technologies to accomplish the responsibilities more efficiently, and secondly, I want to change the general perception of people about the housekeeping department. It should not be perceived as a mere cleaning department but a department which is critical in shaping guests’ experience and the hotel’s impression. May-June ’12

Clean & Hygiene Review  

(May-June 2012) 11th Anniversary issue he Magazine for Cleaning Professionals

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