Industrial cleaning: keeping your warehouse nice and tidy

26 May 2020

A dirty, disorganized workplace increases the risk of accidents, and storage installations are no exception to this rule. That’s why industrial warehouse cleaning is essential to protect the materials stored and workers operating in your installation.

We’ll go over the main elements to keep clean and give you some key tips for organizing these tasks.

Warehouse cleaning method: 5S method

The concept 5S refers to a Japanese organization and cleanliness method. The name refers to the five Japanese words, all starting with the letter s, that make up this technique. Accordingly, they have been adapted to English using words starting with the same letter. Let’s break down the good practices that 5S includes:

1. Sort: warehouse space is a limited and extremely valuable commodity. Therefore, the first step consists of removing unnecessary items from the workplace, prioritizing frequently used components, and checking the amount really needed. For example, there are strategies for optimizing packaging in the installation so that it doesn’t pile up and can be stored appropriately.

2. Set in order: provide workspaces with the means to store and locate materials easily. As with the management of stock and goods locations, the tools and materials used in the warehouse should follow the maxim “a place for everything and everything in its place.”

3. Shine: planning for industrial cleaning of the installation should include common tasks performed on a daily basis and should be integrated in a comprehensive warehouse cleaning plan. Operators must contribute towards the proper maintenance of their workspace.

4. Standardize: the organization of the installation will depend on its layout. In this vein, correct signage is fundamental for distributing materials and traffic inside the warehouse. Identification of the various installation areas makes it possible to mark off the working spaces from the traffic routes and storage zones.

5. Sustain/self-discipline: this stage ensures the continuity of the previous ones, with the participation of all staff members. The ultimate goal is for the technique to have a real impact on the order and industrial cleanliness of the warehouse.

Operators perform cleaning tasks in a warehouse with pallet racking
Operators perform cleaning tasks in a warehouse with pallet racking

Elements involved in industrial warehouse cleaning

The level of cleanliness required by the installation will depend entirely upon the type of goods it stores. For example, for warehouses with hazardous items or products from the food or pharmaceutical sectors, industrial cleaning should be deep and thorough. In these cases, the solution is usually to hire companies that specialize in these more specific processes.

Elements that need to be considered in the industrial warehouse cleaning are:

  • Cleaning of the floor: installation flooring is one of the parts that accumulates the most dirt due to the movement of equipment and people. As these are large surfaces, cleaning and sweeping are generally carried out with the help of industrial ride-on sweeper/scrubbers with rollers. In tighter spaces, industrial warehouse cleaning is done using professional equipment that gets the job done.
  • Cleaning of other elements (ceilings, roofs, walls, racks, pipes, lights and machines): these should not be neglected, as, over time, they become dirty, collecting dust and cobwebs that need to be removed every now and then.
  • Management of waste and packaging: this is crucial for the installation to remain as sustainable as possible within the company’s environmental logistics policy. Accordingly, it’s necessary to control the waste generated, ensuring that it’s correctly recycled and limiting the volume produced.

Warehouse cleaning on an industrial level

To make sure that industrial warehouse cleaning operations don’t interfere with your installation’s activity, it’s a good idea to plan them during off-peak hours whenever possible. It’s also important to provide operators with appropriate training so that they help keep the facilities clean and avoid generating dirt.

Interlake Mecalux’s racks and automated systems include models that meet the most demanding warehouse cleanliness standards. For example, conveyor rollers can be lifted to facilitate the sweeping and scrubbing of the floor. Feel free to get in touch! We’ll show you the most suitable systems for your installation.