Why Factories and Warehouses Should Be Maintained Clean and How?
Factories are the product manufacturing and processing units while warehouses are meant for storing goods ranging from raw materials to finished products. The establishments in both these categories have people employed for a variety of jobs and functions. So, keeping them clean and organized for the ultimate purpose of providing a hygienic and safe work environment for the workers is a fundamental requirement.
Irrespective of the size, functionality and purposes of your factory or warehouse, it is important that you invest time, money and efforts to maintain the prescribed cleanliness standards within the site. Find out what advantages does the practice offer and how to accomplish it the right way.
How Does a Clean Site Add Value to a Business?
The factories and warehouses are often regarded as the business organizations’ ‘backend’ premises, rarely visible to the clients and customers. The notion usually persuades the management to overlook their proper maintenance. Summarized below are some of the unpleasant outcomes it can have:
- Machine Life : Without adequate maintenance, the expensive machines, tools and pieces of equipment may accumulate dust and are prone to poor handling and incidents like rusting. This eventually decreases their efficiency and life and may require frequent repairs and replacements.
- Site Productivity : An unorganized factory or warehouse environment may have a serious impact on the overall business productivity. The workers struggling to locate the poorly stored machines or delay in loading goods for dispatch to dockyard are some of the instances that may result from it.
- Work Pride : The employees working at a disorganized or unclean site might not find the desired pride or satisfaction they had anticipated while joining your organization. On the other hand, if they are provided with clean workwear and a tidy environment, it would keep them motivated and loyal.
- Contamination Possibilities : Dirt, dust as well as the presence of moulds and pests might cause contamination at a site that deals in food items, pharmaceuticals, dairy and other products. The workers handling these items without wearing gloves and masks may add to the risks.
- Safety Concerns : Floors that are left untidy after every shift or debris and liquids left unattended may pose serious safety threats to the factory and warehouse workers. The negligence is subject to workplace injuries that might cost your organization dearly in terms of money as well as employee time.
- Business Image : Any occurrence of product contamination or employee injury resulting from unhygienic factory or warehouse site can severely damage your organization’s reputation. And if it becomes recurring, your business may find itself in the bad books of numerous parties associated with your organization.
What Does the Legal Regulations Say?
The legislation of every country prescribes workplace norms and standards that must be adhered to. In India, Section 11 of The Factories Act of 1948 prescribes:
- Every factory shall be kept clean and free from effluvia arising from any drain, privy or any other nuisance
- Accumulation of dirt shall be removed daily by sweeping or any other effective manner
Section 12 and Section 19 of the Act have prescriptions about the disposal of wastes and effluents and maintenance of latrines and urinals respectively. The factories failing to comply with these prescriptions, as conformed through inspections, may have to face penalties and strict actions.
Planning Factory or Warehouse Cleaning and Maintenance
To create an effective cleaning plan for your factory and warehouse, you need to make a few assessments, take some important decisions and invest in cleaning products, equipment and services. Find out how.
Important Things to Consider : Every factory or warehouse site may have different requirements for cleaning and maintenance. Here are some basic things you need to evaluate:
- Type of Cleaning Required : It would purely depend on the types of products, processes and operations performed at your site. For example, if there are dirt and debris left after every shift, you may need regular sweeping and dusting. If the manufacturing processes lead to the spilling of liquids on the floor, you may require regular washing and mopping.
- Frequency of Cleaning Required : Some sites may require regular cleaning while others can be maintained through periodic deep cleaning. Then, there are workplaces that require routine as well as deep cleaning. It would again depend on the processes and operations performed at the site. In addition, you must also consider how often the outsiders (investors, clients etc.) visit the site.
Things That You Need : Here are some of the important things you must invest in to ensure the best cleaning practices and standards:
- Cleaning Solutions : Soaps, detergents as well as disinfectants and a variety of insecticides and pesticides are among the solutions that you need to arrange.
- Cleaning Equipment : Apart from dusting cloths, mops and brushes, your factory may demand vacuum cleaner, steriliser and floor scrubber. Also, the special equipment like conveyer cleaner should also be considered.
- Workwear : Don’t ignore the importance of proper uniforms for your workers. Apart from that, there should be arrangements to regularly clean the workwear.
Decisions to Make : Finally, you must make some important choices to ensure effective cleaning within your budget:
- Role of Workers : For simple cleaning, you can motivate your workers to keep the factory or warehouse premises clean and tidy. Assigning specific sections to each one of them and providing access to the cleaning supply are some of the things you need to pay attention to. An alternative is to hire an external service provider or cleaning expert for periodic deep cleaning.
- Cleaning Schedule : You must carefully select the right time for cleaning so that it doesn’t affect your site’s productivity. For example, a few minutes after every shift or the weekend hours can be assigned for this.
- Buying or Renting : You may think of renting the expensive cleaning equipment, though investing in them may prove to be more beneficial in the long run.
It is important that you train the employees for maintaining a clean environment. At the same time, the management team must take care of regularly evaluating the site to ensure that it is a nice productive asset for your organization.