How clean is your warehouse? Your plant’s effectiveness is surprisingly dependant on its level of cleanliness. Clean plants are safer, more organised, and more productive.
People who work in a disorganised plant where things feel a little sloppy just will not work as well and are likely to make more mistakes. A layer of dust under conveyor legs or on top of the racks sends a message to workers. You do not need to keep the floors clean enough to eat from, but maintaining an organised, well-lit, pleasant place to work can improve worker morale and even increase worker retention.
The safety ramifications of clutter are all too real. Warehouse aisles need to be clear of obstructions, to be safe to move people, heavy equipment, and inventory through. Piles of pallets, banding or processing debris could limit a forklift driver’s visibility. Overflowing bins can be dangerous if people try to force more into them than they should, especially if there are heavy or sharp objects amongst the debris. A forklift leaking oil can form slippery spots where employees can be hurt.
On the other hand, an ordered, tidy warehouse is far more likely to be a safe, productive, and successful warehouse. Moreover, when employees arrive at a clean facility with neatly stacked shelves and clear aisles, they start their day properly – feeling satisfaction and pride in their workplace.
It is well worth the investment of time to keep your warehouse clean and safe. Here are some tips for overhauling your warehouse and getting things shipshape.
Get into a routine and take charge
It is much easier to keep your warehouse clean as you go along rather than tackling mammoth cleaning sessions after it becomes unbearable.
You can assign cleaning tasks at regular intervals and roster individuals to clean, or you may want to divide your plant into a grid and assign teams to each section. Creating teams not only creates a sense of responsibility, it fosters pride, and even a little competitiveness as teams will strive to make their section the best.
Take charge and make sure your workers understand that cleanliness is not a choice – it is a responsibility.
Supply bins and empty them
Provide ample recycling and garbage bins and place them throughout the warehouse. Overflowing bins discourage workers from using them when they should, so empty all bins before they become completely full. Place the bins close to areas of need, so people do not have to trek a long way to find a bin. For safe emptying of wheelie bins into large rubbish bins use a wheelie bin tipper.
Provide cleaning supplies and equipment
Do not make your workers have to mount a search for some cleaning equipment. Place janitor cupboards in visible locations and keep them stocked with all the cleaning products and implements you need. For heavy duty floor sweeping jobs a forklift broom/sweeper attachment can make quick work sweeping large amounts of debris.
Provide plenty of safety equipment
Always make sure you have the correct safety equipment in place before assigning workers to clean. If your plant specialises in hazardous, toxic chemicals, hire specialist cleaners trained in working around hazardous materials. For the safe storage of flammable liquids a flammable liquids storage cabinet will help ensure you are storing your dangerous goods in line with regularity requirements.