Commercial Floor Cleaning Best Practices
Most of you have probably been inside a warehouse that made you want to take a shower after leaving. The dust in the air – coming from outside and from old boxes sitting on sagging warehouse shelves – the dirt and oil stains on the floor and maybe an old push broom in the corner. Grimy paper logs and old coffee rings. You can see the dust motes and you can feel the mold. It’s enough to send anyone into a sneezing fit.
Most of us in the material handling and DC warehouse space have learned a couple of things since those days. A dirty, grimy warehouse leads to many negative scenarios, including:
- The increased possibility of a workplace accident or workplace injury
- The increased breakdowns of expensive equipment
- The increased problems with new (and expensive) technology
Why do these things happen in a dirty warehouse? Let’s take a look at how dirt and grime can affect your operations in a negative way – and how best practices for commercial floor cleaning can help.
Increased Accidents & Other Employee Hazards
Because it’s the most important impact a dirty warehouse has on operations, let’s talk about the effect on your employees first. How does keeping things clean affect workplace safety in your material handling or DC warehouse? You’ve heard of slips, trips and falls, right? How about upper respiratory infections? How are these menaces optimized by a messy, dirty situation? It’s not hard to visualize.
If your floors are oily and/or greasy from forklift leaks and exhaust, they can become slippery. If there is dust buildup on your floors, that can also be slippery. If there are things left in the aisles, people can trip. A small pool of water can cause a slip.
Inhaling copious amounts of dust and having a resulting upper respiratory infection or worse, life-long respiratory issues, isn’t an accident. It can lead to injury in the form of ongoing respiratory problems. When your employees are getting sick because of conditions in your warehouse, in the end, aside from the human cost, this will be a hit in your wallet.
When workers are getting injured and sick due to workplace conditions, they aren’t the only ones negatively affected. You will be the loser. People won’t want to work for you. They won’t feel valued and cared for – traits that successful business owners cultivate for happy and well employees.
When employees feel like management cares about them, they are more productive and they aren’t calling in sick and quitting in droves. Coming to work in an unhealthy environment doesn’t cut it these days.
Your Expensive Equipment
For many reasons – the shockingly rapid boom in ecommerce for one – a lot of material handling and DC warehouse owners have had to increase their fleets exponentially to keep up and beat the competition. You might have gone out on a financial limb to build up your material handling forklift numbers in a hurry. You need to see some ROI whether you purchased new or used forklifts.
Not only are forklifts and other warehouse equipment expensive, if you don’t maintain them correctly it results in downtime. Another big expense. And your service warranty isn’t going to be honored if your forklift comes into the shop looking like it was driven in an oil-fueled dust storm. Hopefully, we’ve all learned that keeping our equipment well maintained and the environment in which it operates free of dust and debris leads to a long-running and successful partnership with plenty of good ROI in the mix.
Maintaining your warehouse environment helps keep your material handling equipment running smoother and longer – even if you are pushing it 24/7/365.
More – but Different – Expensive Equipment
These days, many of us are using warehouse management systems and other technological advances that depend on some sort of electronics. Even your newer forklifts have some form of computers onboard. Whether you are just barely tiptoeing into keeping your service and maintenance records on a computerized system or you’ve gone whole hog and your material handling and DC warehouse operation is using the cloud for the WMS or you are somewhere in between – we all know now that dust is anathema to electronics.
Unfortunately, the very nature of our material handling and DC warehouse operations lends itself to dust. Most of us are receiving and shipping all day, every day. That means huge holes in our walls where dust and dirt – not to mention insects – can enter and wreak havoc if we aren’t prepared for combat.
So, what’s the solution for keeping your commercial warehouse floors clean?
Best Practices for Keeping Your Material Handling and DC Warehouse Floors Clean
So, you’ve got a guy on the third shift who is coming through five nights a week with a broom and a mop. That’s good enough, right? Maybe it’s more than one guy, depending on the size of your space. That’s the way your father did it – it should be good enough for you, right?
Consider this: In your dad’s time, we didn’t really know how badly inhalants in the air could affect someone’s health long-term. And there were always plenty of warehousemen looking for a job. In your dad’s time, maybe he ran one or two – or even three – forklifts. Break downs were common and expected. And he certainly wasn’t fussing with computerized electronics, right? Dust and debris were the nature of the warehouse.
But times have changed. Dramatically. And if you aren’t changing with the times, then you will get left behind. So, how do you make sure your material handling or DC warehouse stays clean enough to run productively and efficiently today?
We’ve learned that, for the most part, a manual broom just kind of moves dust from one spot to another. And manual mopping in a warehouse is like cutting your lawn with scissors – plus the floors don’t have time to get dry before some machinery or a person is moving across them.
Having the proper commercial floor-cleaning equipment will save you time and efficiency – not to mention helping to make your warehouse a safer place. Over time, your commercial floor cleaning equipment provides a great ROI.
At Darr Equipment, we partner with Advance and Factory Cat – two long-standing and reliable names in the commercial floor cleaning space. Advance has been perfecting the art of cleaning warehouse spaces for close to 100 years. Factory Cat has been operating for 35+ years in this space. Both of these respected companies provide long-term and affordable cleaning solutions in the material handling and DC warehouse space.
You can trust the professionals at Darr Equipment to help you find ways to increase and maximize your productivity and efficiency. Contact us today to find more great ideas for your material handling and DC warehouse challenges.