It’s often said that a well-kept warehouse indicates an efficiently run plant. It’s certainly true that good housekeeping is an aspect of good management and that clean facilities are usually better organised and safer to work in.
In fact, regulation nine of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations specifically says that workplaces have to be clean, waste products mustn’t accumulate and that cleaning methods must not expose workers to large amounts of dust.
Debris Is a Safety Hazard
It’s certainly well known that accumulations of debris are a major fire hazard because the large amount of ready fuel enables a small fire to spread rapidly. And certain types of dust can also catch fire.
Cleanliness is important on surfaces but also for equipment. Clean equipment tends to be well-maintained equipment. A forklift that is leaking oil can be a slip and trip hazard for warehouse workers. Drivers can find their visibility impaired by debris hanging from pallets or racks. Product leaflets on the floor can be lethal slip hazards.
So here are six key pointers for a cleaner, better organised warehouse:
1. Clean to a Timetable
Set specific times and frequencies for cleaning different areas of the warehouse. For floors, this might be daily.
2. Get Rid of Rubbish Promptly
Don’t allow bins to overflow with possibly dangerous rubbish. Make someone responsible for emptying them before they are overfull.
3. Clean Up After Each Task
Never let waste packing or materials lie around on the floor. Clean it up straight away.
4. Make Sure Each Shift Cleans Up
Make sure that each shift cleans up after itself and leaves the warehouse in a pleasant and professional condition for the next shift.
5. Have Cleaning Equipment Available
This can be as simple as a broom or as complex as a ducting system to remove dust, in which a ductwork blast gate damper from www.dustspares.co.uk can be closed to focus the suction on whichever area is harbouring the most dust.
6. Keep Stock Dust-Free
Dusty, dirty stock may get sent back when it finally gets dispatched. So clean stock, rotate it and keep it dust-free.
These six simple steps will go a long way to creating a dust- and debris-free environment that is safe and pleasant to work in.