With how busy your business can get, it can be easy to neglect your warehouse’s state and leave it to fall into disrepair. However, what may start as a negligible amount of mess can accumulate and become unmanageable and unsafe.
No matter what your business is, you need to bear in mind the importance of keeping your warehouse clean and clutter-free. A tidy warehouse is a safe and profitable warehouse that can benefit your entire enterprise in the long run.
What Are the Advantages of a Clean Warehouse?
When properly maintained, your warehouse can offer your business more than just space to store items. With a well-kept warehouse, you will gain the following advantages:
Preserve the Condition of Products and Equipment
Good housekeeping in your warehouse prevents the accumulation of dust and debris while inhibiting the growth of mould and mildew — all of which can contribute to product and equipment damage.
- Heavy Machinery – Despite their size, your seemingly invincible heavy machinery is vulnerable to damage. Dirt and debris that settle on equipment attract moisture which can lead to rust. Rust can corrode essential parts of your equipment and heavy machinery, rendering them inoperable and in dire need of repairs or a replacement, which can be costly.
- Products – Storing your products inside an unsanitary warehouse will significantly impact their quality and/or functionality. In the end, you might have to replace damaged goods by producing more, which is both expensive and a waste of resources.
Effectively Organize Products and Equipment
Keeping your warehouse in tiptop condition allows you to organize your business assets. Without unnecessary clutter, you can fully take advantage of your warehouse without wasting valuable space. You no longer need to worry whether there is room left to store additional items.
Also, developing a system for storing items in your warehouse allows workers to speed up processes. Organized shelves make it easier to locate specific items more quickly, making them more efficient when handling their tasks.
Raises Work Productivity
A study reveals that clean work environments boost productivity levels. As mentioned above, workers are more efficient in properly organized spaces. Cleanliness in the work environment also positively affects their level of work satisfaction. Employees become more efficient if they are more content with working conditions.
This ensures the smooth operation of your business. With a clean and clutter-free warehouse, it’s easier for your workers to meet deadlines and for your processes to stay on schedule.
Minimizes Accidents and Injuries in the Workplace
Accidents are common in the workplace. Warehouse settings are especially prone to personal injury accidents that can lead to serious injuries and even fatalities. Some of the most common accidents in warehouses include:
- Trip, Slip, and Fall Accidents – Clutter and unchecked cracks in floors present trip hazards, while spillage that has not been mopped up can cause workers to slip and fall.
- Falling Objects – Haphazardly stored items on racks and shelves may not be properly secured and fall at the slightest bump.
- Rack Collapses – Disorganized item storage can over-encumber racks causing them to fail and collapse.
- Heavy Machinery Accidents – Debris and clutter on warehouse floors can stand in the way of heavy machinery. This can lead to accidents like forklift underride if operators back up to avoid crushing clutter.
To prevent such incidents, businesses from all industries must strictly adhere to government-mandated occupational health and safety regulations, including guidelines on proper housekeeping and maintenance. After all, a clean workplace is a safe workplace.
Gives Positive Representation to Business
The cleanliness of your warehouse can also showcase how you run your business. You might have to guide your customers into your warehouse to show your products. If your customers see how well you maintain your space, they will be more impressed with you and your business.
Having a mission and vision for your business is not enough. Cleanliness can also influence how potential customers see you and your business as a whole. Even if you try to explain what you can do for them, your customers might not trust you if all they see is a messy and chaotic warehouse. They might decide to take their business somewhere else.
How Do You Maintain a Clean Warehouse?
Now that you know the advantages of maintaining your warehouse, you must also know how to do it properly. We recommend you to follow this warehouse cleaning procedure:
Prepare a Cleaning Schedule
Setting up a cleaning schedule gives the employees sufficient time to focus solely on cleaning up without other possible distractions. They can clean specific parts of your warehouse on scheduled days so they can go through the entire area within a week. By following this, you are also making sure that all of your employees and the quality of your products remain up to par.
Assign Employees Specific Cleaning Tasks or Areas
Delegate cleaning areas and duties among different employees. Don’t let a single person be in charge of it; they will not accomplish all the cleaning tasks on time.
If your employees work in alternating shifts, you can take advantage of this by assigning tasks based on their schedules. This further guarantees a more thorough cleaning since anything the previous shift misses can be dealt with as soon as the next shift comes in.
Provide Clear Directions With Labels
Labelling boxes and shelves save your employees time and better organizes your warehouse. These labels can help employees identify products and navigate the area, so they don’t spend their time lost and trying to find out which way to go. Additionally, if they have to find a specific type of product, they can do it quickly without making a mess trying to dig it up from piles of boxes or the backs of shelves.
Supply Suitable Cleaning Tools and Materials
Providing your employees with the right cleaning supplies is just as important as setting up a schedule. After all, they can’t be expected to clean with their bare hands. They need the right tools and equipment to deal with various messes.
Supply materials like disinfectants (for contaminants or hazardous wastes), heavy-duty mops and buckets (for chemical spills), specialty cleaners (for mould and rust), and a sufficient number of waste bins, among others.
Keeping the workplace clean and safe is good for both your employees and your bottom line. It keeps your workers in good health, your products in peak quality, and your heavy machinery functional and excellent working order.