A lot of activity goes on in a warehouse or distribution center with multiple areas for different aspects of the operation. There are receiving areas for incoming goods, areas for order picking and for reserve stock, marshaling areas, as well as loading areas. There may also be areas where machining may be done. In order to run a safe, efficient, and professional-looking facility, each one must be kept clean and orderly.

So where do you start?

Start by Developing a Schedule of Work

It would be next to impossible to stay on top of cleaning without developing a work schedule. For each section of a warehouse, there will be tasks that need to be done on a daily basis, such as sweeping up and cleaning workspaces. Others can be done on a weekly or monthly basis. Creating a checklist of daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning tasks is the best way to ensure that nothing is overlooked.

Schedule Appropriate Times for Work to Be Completed

Warehouses can be massive, and everywhere you look there is something that needs to be done.

Some tasks like spills or trip hazards must be attended to immediately. After all, no one should expect a forklift driver moving a heavy load to climb down from his truck to move a pile of discarded cardboard. However, for cleaning projects that aren’t of an emergency nature, these jobs should be scheduled during off-hours or, in the case of a 24/7 operation, when activity is lighter.

Make Sure You Have the Appropriate Supplies and Equipment

Cleaning a warehouse is nothing like cleaning a home or an office. It’s not just about what should be cleaned but how it should be done.

Warehouses are much larger spaces, ones that see a lot of wear and tear from forklifts, pallet jacks, and other heavy equipment. Machinery may spill oil or leave residues. In turn, warehouse cleaning may need to involve industrial sweepers and other specialized equipment. Disinfectants and other chemical supplies designed specifically for warehouse cleaning may also be necessary. It’s important that the people doing the work are properly trained to use them.

Make sure that your cleaning supplies are well stocked and correctly stored, but readily available to those who will be using them. Also be sure to keep a good supply of safety gear such as gloves, masks, and protective eye gear.

Stay Up With Covid-19 Protocols

Warehouses are busy operations with people and shipments constantly coming and going. However, in early 2020, Covid-19 turned the world on its head, and like many other areas of business, maintaining a clean and safe work environment became that much more complicated.

A top priority in this day and age is ensuring employees are working in a pathogen-free, sanitized facility. It is essential to your employees’ and visitors’ good health, the productivity of your business, and your company’s reputation.

Any warehouse cleaning plan should incorporate ever-changing Covid-19 protocols that include appropriate cleaning products and safety equipment for workers.

Consider a Professional Cleaning Company

Order pickers climbing ladders to grab items on a high shelf should not be expected to carry dust rags and cleaning fluid bottles at the same time to wipe up accumulated dust they may find while up there. It’s impractical, unsafe, and extremely inefficient. And it doesn’t do much for morale.

Yes, you can schedule a day or two a year to completely shut down operations and shift your workforce over to clean the building. But then it will only be dirty again in a short while.

Cleaning is hard work, and placing that added burden on your crew can be debilitating. A professional commercial cleaning company can provide a skilled, dedicated cleaning team with the necessary supplies and equipment that will keep up with cleaning tasks on a regularly scheduled basis. A cleaning company can also work around your daily, weekly or seasonal work schedule to keep your facility clean, safe, and in compliance with health and safety regulations.

Consistency is Key

Just as important as cleaning your warehouse is the need to keep up with the cleaning consistently. In this way, no mess gets too out of hand. Not only does a clean and orderly warehouse create a safer, more efficient, and more attractive environment, it also creates a culture of cleanliness. Statistics show that employees that work in a clean and safe environment take greater pride in their work and are encouraged to do their part to keep it that way.

NEXT: How to create a scope of work for your warehouse cleaning

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