Cleaning and disinfecting your warehouse can be a struggle. However, there are ways to develop a plan so that cleaning and disinfecting doesn’t become a chore. A plan to make this an essential part of the everyday operations of your facility.
An essential part of a clean warehouse is a tidy warehouse, and a clean and orderly warehouse makes for a productive warehouse. An organized environment makes it easier for your staff to find supplies and equipment they need without having to wonder where things are. An established and clean facility directly increases warehouse productivity and boosts staff morale, increasing their efficiency. Warehouse leadership that dedicates company resources and time to make sure the environment is safe and clean leads to employees that take pride in their work every day and keeps them healthy.
As a warehouse owner, you must maintain a clean environment to comply with safety and health legislature, which requires all employers to ensure the health and safety of their employees. Failing to comply with legislation can put your employees in danger and can also lead to a failing business with a poorly rated health and safety inspector check.
Make a warehouse cleaning path
The type of work done in your warehouse will dictate the timing and nature of the cleaning required.
In general, there are two types of cleaning schedules, regular and deep cleaning.
Your staff should perform routine cleaning to keep on top of cleaning and help lengthen the amount of time in between deep cleanings.
As a rule of thumb, require each employee to leave their work area ready for the next person without the next shift worker having to organize and clean the work area at the beginning of their shift.
It would be a good idea to allow 5-15 minutes at the end of each shift for such cleaning.
If there is equipment in the warehouse used less often, it would be wise to give this equipment a quick clean every couple of weeks to prevent dirt, grime, and dust buildup, which could affect its performance.
It is also important to encourage each employee to clean any debris, trash, or spills as they happen to prevent potential safety and health hazards. The equipment and supplies that employees need to clean should be readily available to encourage proactive employees in cleaning their individual as well as combined work areas.
Naturally, over time your warehouse floor and walls are going to have a buildup of dust and grime, which can affect health and productivity. Perform deep cleaning before it reaches a point of accumulation.
Set aside several hours to use heavy-duty cleaning supplies and equipment on every surface and type of material in your warehouse.
If you require your staff to clean, it would be necessary to schedule this intense cleaning during a slow time of the business flow, if possible. Each staff member should be assigned a specific area that they are responsible for to clean to ensure accountability. Not only is it essential to provide each employee with the supplies and equipment needed but also to provide them with proper training.
If you are enlisting an outside cleaning service to clean for you, it is best to have them come during nonproductive work hours, such as an evening or weekend when the warehouse personnel and operations have ended for the day.
The opportunity should be taken at this time to declutter any areas that have accumulated since the last deep cleaning, especially in collective work or storage areas.
Disinfecting Your Warehouse
Cleaning your warehouse is the first step to a healthy work environment. Disinfecting should come after cleaning. To do this properly, the proper equipment and cleaning supplies are necessary.
Each employee should have access to conventional cleaning equipment such as paper towels, cleaning cloths, a broom and dustpan, and other materials such as a dedicated floor cleaner and disk brushes.
Waste bins and recycling bins should be strategically placed throughout the warehouse to aid in discarding items away as they happen rather than allowing them to accumulate.
Proper cleaning solutions should be readily at hand. There is a difference between individual solutions to do specific jobs.
- A cleaner refers to the physical act of removing debris, aiding in removing soil from an area. It cleans germs but does not kill them. Always complete cleaning before sanitizing and disinfecting.
- A sanitizing agent lowers the number of germs on a surface to what is considered a safe level by public health organizations.
- Disinfectants kill infectious bacteria and viruses on hard surfaces such as Staphylococcus aureus or Salmonella bacteria.
- Kills or inactivates viruses in the environment
- Destroys and eliminates all forms of microbial life, bacteria, and its spores
Cleaning as a Company Culture
Lead by example. Ensure that you and your leadership team participate in cleaning and disinfecting as much if not more than anybody else.
Communicate efficiently with your employees the benefits of a clean and disinfected workspace. Communication is essential to maintain a safe and clean workplace.
Above all, make sure to dedicate time and resources to your staff for organizing and cleaning your warehouse. If you expect to have your team clean their work areas above their responsibilities, it is even more important to allow extra time and compensation to do so.
Train and retrain staff to maintain high standards with cleaning protocols. Best practice would be to train new staff members when hired and retrain employees regularly. Each management team member and employee should be given clear instructions as to their responsibility to maintain a clean and disinfected warehouse and held accountable if they are not performing their duties.
Make the cleaning and organization warehouse as hassle-free as possible for the best results. Please keep in mind that the Center for Disease Control recommends current vaccinations and proper hand hygiene as the first line of defense against the spread of any infectious diseases.
In today’s world of the pandemic coronavirus disease (COVID-19) it is also vital to follow the guidelines as established by the Center for Disease Control and Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) which include:
- Increase protocols for sanitizing surfaces
- Consult information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved disinfectant labels against emerging viral pathogens
- Promote thorough and frequent handwashing with soap and water
- Supply alcohol-based hand sanitizer of at least 60% alcohol
- Stagger work shifts
- Downsize operations
- Reduced workforce
- Cross-train employees across different responsibilities to aid in continue operations with fewer workers
- Plan for interrupted supply chains for a delay in deliveries
- Increase protocols in sanitizing surfaces
- Those employees that can work from home should do so
- Those employees that cannot work from home must practice social distancing keeping six feet between one another.
- Encourage respiratory etiquette, covering cough and sneezes
- Limit or discourage visitors.
- If employees are sick, tell them to stay home
- Discourage staff from sharing tools, desks, phones, etc. without sanitizing first
Contact Parts Brite
Parts Brite provides the highest quality after-market loading dock parts to warehouses across the U.S. Our office hours are from 7 AM to 4 PM Pacific Time you can reach us toll-free at 1-855-PARTSBRITE (1-855-727-8727). You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org We have the staff to respond to emails outside of our regular business hours