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by Hector Sunol
Warehouse cleaning can be an overwhelming task solely due to the size of modern-day warehouses. If not regularly maintained, warehouses can quickly become messy and unorganized, which can hamper the day-to-day workflow, which can increase hazards and operating costs. A clean and organized warehouse can boost productivity, improve accuracy, and lead to higher job satisfaction.
According to Fredrick Herzberg’s two-factor theory, hygiene factors do not necessarily encourage employees to work harder but can lead to them being dissatisfied. Good hygienic factors, on the other hand, promote a positive environment among workers.
In this article, we will break down the cleaning process in five simple steps and share some cleaning tips and hacks.
Warehouse Cleaning Process
Warehouses that wish to maintain a clean and safe working environment will need to effectively clean larger areas from time to time. Let’s break down the warehouse cleaning process into five easy steps:
1. The Prep Work
Before getting ready to clean, you need to be well prepared. This would include removing any items from the floor or other surfaces that hinder the cleaning process. Also, remove vehicles such as forklifts and trucks from the area.
2. Preliminary Cleaning
Before starting in-depth cleaning, it is always a good idea to remove significant spots of dirt and debris. This will cut down the overall time required.
3. Addressing High Areas
Clean any high surfaces first as the debris will fall on the lower levels. This approach can prevent having to clean the floors twice. Some areas to clean would include the heating or cooling ducts, upper windows and frames, and the top of pallets and racks. You can use an extension pole with a duster head or an industrial-grade vacuum cleaner.
After taking care of all the high places, focus on the floor. The majority of the injuries in a warehouse comprise slip, trips, and falls. Thus, it is essential to pay special attention to the floor, the areas underneath the racks, and other nook and crannies. First, start by using a large mop to clear the debris and dust. Use a degreaser and clean the toughest stains, such as tire marks from the forklifts.
5. Reviewing the Checklist
A checklist can ensure that no spots were accidentally missed while cleaning. So, before the cleaning session gets over, reviewing the checklist is recommended.
Tips to Keep Your Warehouse Clean
1. Have a Plan
When choosing a maintenance and cleaning routine, it’s essential to make sure that it does not hinder the productivity of your warehouse. Setting a consistent and well-planned schedule can help you balance resources and timing in an efficient manner as well as execute the cleaning process smoothly.
2. Cleaning Supplies Should Always be Stocked
Not having cleaning supplies ready at all times can discourage employees from cleaning the warehouse. Additionally, if they must walk a long distance or search for the supplies, it will lead to a waste of their productive hours.
3. Clean as You Go
A conscious effort needs to be put forth by warehouse employees to clean up after themselves. This helps not only in maintaining the standard set by the company but also in keeping the area hazard-free.
4. Assign Areas for Employees to Clean
An efficient way to ensure that specific areas are kept clean is by assigning areas to specific staff members. This division into zones makes the task seem less intimidating. It also helps prevent slowdown in productivity during shift changes as incoming workers do not have to clean up the mess left behind by the previous group.
5. Turn Over Inventory Regularly
Stock that sits on the shelves for a long time can collect dust and cause problems for the entire warehouse. On top of wasting valuable warehouse space, it is also costlier to deal with the stock and makes warehouse cleaning unnecessarily difficult.
6. Quick Reporting
Employees should be trained to report spills or hazards quickly.
Managing a warehouse is more than maintaining the flow of stock. Cleaning a warehouse can encourage a positive atmosphere, which can boost productivity, improve accuracy, and lead to higher job satisfaction. Furthermore, having a plan and executing it well can help streamline the cleaning process, in turn, increasing efficiency and decreasing accidents.