Importance of Keeping your Warehouse Clean
There’s no question that warehouse work is physically demanding and potentially dangerous. In recent years, we have seen an uptick in injuries, indicating trouble ahead for warehouse workers.
Warehouses have plenty of potential hazards: moving forklifts lifting loaded pallets, slips and falls, and more. Don’t just take our word for it; listen to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They keep hold of statistics on workplaces across industries. Their 2020 data shows that for every 100 full-time employees, there were 4.8 recordable injuries among warehousing and storage workers. Plus 21 fatalities.
With a warehouse injury rate of 5 out of every 100 workers, 5% of those employees will suffer an injury each year. That is nearly 60,000 workers. It’s more important than ever to consider safety. So how can you keep your warehouse workers safe and sound? Roll up your sleeves, grab a mop, and get scrubbing!
While this may be slightly facetious, maintaining a high standard in warehouse cleaning is about more than just creating a more pleasant and attractive workplace. It can contribute to greater safety, better employee health, longer-lasting equipment, reduced merchandise damage and increased productivity.
Warehouses can quickly accumulate dirt, debris and build-up on floors like oil leaks that can pose slipping hazards. Not only are warehouses hectic workplaces, where team members rarely have time for anything deeper than surface-level cleaning, but their sheer size makes them somewhat difficult to keep on top of. We frequently encounter these scenarios when our Minneapolis cleaning crew performs warehouse cleaning services.
No matter the challenge, keeping your warehouses in tip-top shape is still incredibly important. Read on for a look at just a few reasons why warehouse cleaning is so important and what strategies can be implemented to keep your warehouse clean.
Slips, trips, and falls are by far the most common cause of injury in the workplace, accounting for around 37% of all workplace injuries and a worrying 28% of workplace fatalities. However, they aren’t the only injuries that can occur in a warehouse due to neglected cleaning duties.
One of your main priorities as a warehouse operator should be ensuring the health of your team and providing them with good working conditions. For example, if staff members work in a dusty environment, it could lead to huge complications for staff members suffering from ailments like asthma or other respiratory issues. Dirt and dust are good for nobody – especially those working amongst it for hours each day. Prevent employees from developing health problems by ensuring your warehouse is always clean and tidy.
Having a clean warehouse helps to ensure that you or your workers are not held back by unnecessary delays caused by soiled, slippery or unsafe surfaces. As the warehouse operator, it is your responsibility to ensure that staff work in safe and clean surroundings. Should an employee become injured due to a slip, trip or fall, the area of the warehouse may need to be closed off from staff while the incident is investigated and reported, ultimately slowing down warehouse operations.
Furthermore, if it’s found that a lack of cleanliness in the warehouse contributed to the incident – wet floors, etc. – your team member may file a claim against you and your business for injury or loss of earnings.
If you have a warehouse that is either storing or processing products, dirt or dust in the warehouse must be removed before it can build up. This is because dust and dirt have the potential to be transferred from surfaces within the warehouse to the products themselves.
It's important to clean up all shelves, floors, and other surfaces within the warehouse for this reason.
Ensuring that the storage areas within the warehouse are clean will prevent products from becoming dirty, preventing unfortunate situations in which customers are inadvertently sent unsatisfactory goods.
Passing Health and Safety Inspections
It’s important to always keep your warehouse clean and tidy in accordance with OSHA regulations, the US’s governments health and safety body. For warehouse workers' general safety, OSHA recommends a few things ranging from keeping warehouses well-ventilated, implementing proper lockout/tag-out procedures, and teaching new employees proper ergonomics.
Organizations that wish to maintain a safe and healthy working environment must effectively clean large areas such as warehouses from time to time or risk getting a slap on the wrist in the form of fines.
Now, let’s break the cleaning process down into five easy steps so that the correct approach can be taken from the very beginning.
Preparation Create a checklist, assemble your team, and prepare the area to be cleaned by moving vehicles such as trucks or forklifts. Look for any other obstructions that might pose a hazard when cleaning.
Preliminary Cleaning Before any in-depth cleaning can take place, removing large waste materials, such as pallets that are no longer in use, old acking materials, etc., is a good idea. This will cut down on the overall time spent cleaning.
Addressing High Areas Start at the top and work your way down, as the debris will naturally fall to lower levels. You don't want to have to sweep the floors twice.
Floors Modern industrial floor cleaners are a great option for removing dirt and stains. They’re powerful, versatile machines that can tackle even the most daunting tasks.
Final Inspection Before the cleaning session is over, make sure no areas are accidentally missed.
While it may be a lot of work, cleaning an industrial warehouse does not necessarily have to be impossible. If your team cannot implement an in-house cleaning plan, outsource your cleaning to a professional commercial cleaning company. You can improve workplace safety and avoid costly workers' compensation claims by keeping your warehouse consistently clean.
Keep Your Warehouses Clean and Safe
The Common Good Cleaning Company is a provider of janitorial and general building services based in Minneapolis, MN. We keep all types of Twin Cities businesses hygienic and maintain a comfortable and sanitary working environment for your staff.
We’re different from the other janitorial and commercial cleaning companies in the Minneapolis - St. Paul Metro area. With the belief that everyone deserves a clean and healthy work environment, we pride ourselves on being the most caring and dependable provider of commercial cleaning services in the Twin Cities.
If you would like to speak to a member of our team about how best to approach keeping your warehouse clean, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
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