14 Jun Industrial Cleaning – Warehouse Cleaning Advice
When dealing with the subject of industrial cleaning, namely warehouse cleaning, it is important to understand that this can be a daunting task due to the size of the area that needs cleaning, not to mention the height of various levels throughout the warehouse.
It is advisable to create a warehouse cleaning schedule and assign competent and capable team members to specific duties. In addition to this, it is crucial to ensure that your company’s health and safety policy details all considerations that need to made, along with relevant advice on tackling specific tasks. It is also crucial to check that your insurance policy covers any personnel that will be conducting industrial cleaning duties.
The initial warehouse cleaning assessment
Before a warehouse cleaning schedule action, an initial assessment must take place. During the assessment, considerations will be made for all areas and all levels throughout the warehouse. Appropriate equipment and cleaning products will be considered for each area. Recommended cleaning techniques will also be put forward, along with estimated cleaning timings for each area.
Considerations for warehouse cleaning during the assessment
Some of the considerations that should be made include assessing the volume of traffic that passes through each area, along with the times that the warehouse will be operating. For example, is the warehouse active 24 hours a day? If this is the case that a more strategic cleaning regime must be proposed which will not interfere with warehouse activities. Considerations must also be made in relation to the level of cleaning that is required. ECS Commercial Cleaning recommends breaking down cleaning tasks into ‘regular’ and ‘periodic’ cleaning. For example, some tasks such as sweeping and mopping areas of high-activity are likely to require a daily schedule. Whereas some tasks such as deep cleaning or steam cleaning may only need to take place once per month, or even once every three months.
Another consideration to make is in relation to surfaces. For example, rough surfaces such as concrete will require different equipment, products and techniques compared with smooth surfaces for examples. Regular floor cleaning equipment and products are likely to have little effect on concrete or steel surfaces, while harsher equipment and products will likely damage the more delicate of surfaces. In addition to surfaces, it is also important to consider the type of equipment and machinery that will need to be cleaned. For example, some machinery is likely to be greasy, and require specialist products in order to safely remove the grease while not damaging working parts.
Warehouse cleaning at height
One of the biggest dangers in relation to industrial cleaning is working at height. Warehouses are notoriously high, and often contain shelving and racking systems that stretch from the ground up to several metres in height. In such a scenario, it is important to ensure that adequate equipment is available to assist in the cleaning of these locations. Industrial high-level cleaning equipment could include long-reach poles (a popular option as it means that the operative can remain on the ground while the cleaning task takes place), along with ladders and access platforms. On occasions, abseiling systems may also be used. In addition to sourcing the appropriate equipment, it is also essential to ensure that any personnel involved is adequately trained and also possesses any required training certificates or qualifications. For example, where rope access is to be used (such as abseiling) appropriate qualifications must be provided by the operative, such as IRATA Rope Access Level 1, 2 or 3 – AIS Training from IRATA.
Potential Warehouse Hazards
Before we proceed, let’s consider some of potential hazards that will likely be presented to ourselves within a warehouse or industrial environment. First of all, it is important to recognise anything that could be a trip or fall hazard. Walkways and any areas where personnel will be working will need to be kept clear of these hazards at all times. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) offer some excellent advice in relation to trips and slip hazards within the workplace. This can be found on the following link: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg225.pdf.
In addition to this, we must also consider what the warehouse or industrial environment is manufacturing or storing. For example, are these items that would impose a risk to safety, such as sharp objects or hazardous materials that should be handled with care? We must also consider if any harmful chemicals are likely to be used on-site. In such a scenario, appropriate workwear must be worn.
ECS recommend that you always follow and adhere to the latest government advice in relation to warehouse cleaning and industrial cleaning in general. Relevant information can be found on the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings along with general information in relation to commercial cleaning health and safety https://www.hse.gov.uk/cleaning/index.htm. For more information on our services, and to obtain a quote, please do not hesitate to contact us by clicking on the following link: https://ecscommercialcleaning.co.uk/contact/