It’s a good question, isn’t it?
If your warehouse or distribution center is to operate safely and efficiently, someone needs to keep on top of cleaning tasks. Floors must be kept consistently clean and free of debris. Shelving should be dusted regularly. Lighting fixtures and windows cannot be ignored. Then there are the exterior dock areas, walkways, steps, and landings that require your attention. And, of course, the breakroom, hallways and other common areas.
It’s not just that your warehouse needs to be cleaned regularly but also figuring out which tasks must be tended to on a daily basis, which ones should be taken care of weekly, and which on a monthly routine. There are also annual or semi-annual jobs like duct cleaning that cannot be overlooked.
Warehouse floors take a lot of beating. Besides the heavy foot traffic they receive, they also get pummeled by forklifts, conveyors and other heavy equipment. Wood pallets degrade and leave splinters. Oil spills damage floors and create slip hazards. Dock doors open and close regularly blowing in dust and debris.
Depending on the intensity of your operation, warehouse floors should be swept daily and scrubbed and disinfected on a regular basis. Oil and other spills should be cleaned up immediately. Constant vigilance should be taken to eliminate trip hazards.
Warehouse and distribution centers are notoriously dusty. As noted above, dock doors are often opened and closed all day allowing dust and debris to blow in and settle on floors, counters, and shelving and most importantly the product that sits on the shelves. Dust accumulation can also cause damage to machinery on the floor. To keep a facility clean, protect machinery and especially the respiratory health of your workers, consistent, usually monthly, dusting is essential.
Regular collection and disposal of waste is also a must in any warehouse operation. A facility with overflowing waste baskets and trash bins is not just a health and safety hazard, it’s an unattractive nuisance that sends a lackluster message about the quality of your operation.
Cleaning Windows and Light Fixtures
It should go without saying that employees need to work in a well-lit facility. Unwashed windows are unattractive and prevent natural light from entering your building. Likewise, neglecting to clean the lighting in your facility will also compromise light levels. Keeping up with these tasks on a monthly basis–or more frequently if the situation requires it–is essential to a well-run operation.
Today’s warehousing operations demand significant logistics. Warehouse managers know well that inventory that sits on a shelf for more than a short time is money lost. At the same time, they must meet the heavy demands of their clients that often operate on just-in-time stock control programs, having the inventory readily available for them but shipping it out only when they want it. They also must have a plan to deal with slow-turning and discontinued product.
Cleaning tasks, whether daily, weekly, monthly or semi-annually, are extremely important to an efficient operation. But they are also time consuming. So when moving product is your top priority, it may be tempting to look at such jobs as a lesser priority that can be tended to infrequently or with a substandard approach. It’s a mistake that can cost your facility in the long run.
Some warehouse managers may think it wise to cut corners by assigning warehouse cleaning tasks to inventory pickers, warehouse machine operators, and other workers not specifically hired to clean. But that’s highly inefficient. It not only slows productivity, it hurts morale. In addition, there are many cleaning jobs that require specialized skills warehouse workers may not have which could cause a company to fail health and safety inspections.
Using your resources to hire a dedicated cleaning company, one that specializes in warehouse and distribution center operations, is a proven money saver. A professional commercial cleaning company can provide skilled and dedicated technicians that have the proper equipment and supplies to handle even the most daunting cleaning tasks.
By now you should understand that your warehouse needs to be cleaned all the time–regularly and consistently. And by putting the job in the hands of a reliable, professional cleaning company, your warehouse employees can focus on what they need to do and do best–keeping product moving off your shelves and out your doors.