It’s hard to overstate the widespread importance of a clean and orderly facility, be it a manufacturing plant or a warehouse. A clean workspace is often safer, more productive and more positive — and failing to keep the facility clean can cost you in workers’ compensation and OSHA violation fees. When considering how to ensure a tidy work environment for your employees, take these tips to heart.

The Right Cleaning Tools

Proper cleaning starts with having the appropriate equipment and supplies. Buy cleaning products like chemical cleaners and shop rags in bulk, both to save money and to ensure you remain stocked. Make sure to research what chemicals to use — oil and grime require different cleaners than rust and oxides — and how to use them safely and effectively. Do the same for powered equipment like vacuums and the supplies they need, such as filters, because industrial vacuums and filters must meet certain standards for use in facilities.

Encourage Proactive Cleaning

As with all things, regular maintenance proves to cost less in time and money in the long run than sweeping the entire facility in one massive cleaning. To ensure that this maintenance does take place, establish policies for employees to clean during the workday. This necessitates training, access to supplies and a plan of action.

  • Assign cleaning zones to employees, and mandate that they clean up after themselves when completing a task.
  • Provide easy access to cleaning supplies and equipment, allowing workers to perform cleaning with less downtime caused by retrieving the necessary tools.
  • Instruct employees on how to use cleaning supplies, including safety procedures for chemicals and powered equipment.
  • Establish a checklist for employees to refer to while cleaning so that they can make sure they complete each step.

Deep Cleaning

Along with regular cleaning, occasionally you will need to perform a deep cleaning of the facility. This may be necessary for sanitation and disinfecting purposes or simply as more thorough measures to complement the more basic everyday cleaning. As with the regular cleaning procedures, employees need to know the plan of action, including what supplies are needed and where to find them, what zones they’re responsible for cleaning and a checklist of steps to take. Additionally, because the process is more intensive and time-consuming, you need to schedule ahead of time — if possible, choose a date that is predicted to have a low workload. Also, take measure of how long it takes for employees to clean their assigned zones and consult with them afterward to provide or receive feedback for future improvements.

With proper preparation, you and your employees can create a work environment that enables more efficiency, higher satisfaction and fewer health and safety risks.