Warehouses, like most industrial environments, are dangerous places. Forklifts, heights, and fire hazards are probably the three main health threats that come to mind when thinking of warehouse safety. There is one subtler but equally dangerous threat that is often overlooked: dirt. A dirty warehouse is an extremely dangerous place, and a high-quality janitorial service company is needed to protect the warehouse workers.
Most people accept the importance of worker safety these days and do everything in their power to minimize risks and reduce injuries. An accident in the workplace will have the authorities coming to the facility and investigating the incident.
If there are serious health violations, the facility could be closed until the issues are rectified. Such a closure could have a devastating effect on the business as unhappy customers wait for the products from the warehouse. These delays could have serious financial implications for your business.
Staff injuries will also negatively affect the morale of other workers. They might become fearful and angry. Some might demand more money for their job and others might start taking sick days where they did not before. Needless to say, injuries are not good for the business.
It is also not good for the morale of management because no one wants to see injuries on duty. Another issue is that it could affect your ability to attract new workers if the business is perceived as unsafe.
Industrial Warehouse Risks
Let’s take a look at some of the more obvious risks normally associated with warehouses.
Forklifts are fast-moving and nimble machines that often carry a heavy load. The pressure is on all staff to meet targets and workers move with speed to get the job done. The majority of forklift accidents come down to human error.
Regular training is important and safety measures should be taken to minimize the risk. Forklift operational areas should be clearly demarcated and blocked off by bollards or impact barriers. These can be portable and redesigned if operation requirements change.
The risk of falling is another major concern in the warehouse environment, especially those with multilevel or a mezzanine floor. OSHA regulations should always be followed, but more proactive measures need to be taken as well.
Good warehouse design, quality equipment, and regular training will make a big difference to safety. Another important factor is effective supervision.
Another constant risk in a warehouse is the threat of fire. Not only can several stored materials and their packaging pose a threat but the many powered machined and vehicles increase this risk.
Here, specialists are required to put the necessary hardware in place to deal with fires if they occur. A safety plan should be in place to determine where and how high items can be packed and what policies should be followed to minimize the risk of fire.
Again, the warehouse design will be a factor, as well as training, equipment, and supervision.
The Risk of a Dirty Warehouse
While those were examples of the obvious threats that warehouses experience, never underestimate how dangerous dirt and grime can be. An untidy warehouse is literally an accident waiting to happen. A professional cleaning company that knows your space is essential to help reduce this risk.
If you speak to anyone experienced in industrial janitorial services, they will be able to tell you stories of many accidents caused purely by poor cleanliness in the warehouse.
The warehouse floor, as the largest surface in the area, is a classic example. While industrial janitorial services will ensure this is always kept clean, companies that do not follow this practice are in trouble.
A dirty, oily, and messy floor will hide or obscure hazards, such as cracks, potholes or oil spills. This could cause people to slip and fall or vehicles to crash or damage their loads or the vehicle itself.
All these incidents have a negative spinoff and will cost time and money to rectify. These could have easily been avoided with the right professional cleaning company.
Any other dirt, grime, or clutter in the warehouse could pose a tripping or slipping hazard, lead to a vehicle accident or pose a fire hazard. In extreme cases, clutter and debris could block emergency exits leading to a major security threat.
Staff at a professional cleaning company are trained and experienced in these matters and are able to identify and eliminate all threats or potential threats as part of the cleaning process.
The other reason industrial janitorial services will improve staff health is not through eliminating accidents but improving the health of the facility. This then leads to improvements in the health of the staff. This is related to cleaner air, hygienic toilets, kitchens, equipment, and a host of other cleaning improvements in the facility.
The result of this is that workers will take fewer sick days and be more productive at work. The staff morale will improve and you will have lower staff turnover in a clean and healthy environment.
Yet another benefit of an industrial janitorial services company providing a clean warehouse is apparent in the inventory management. In a well-organized and clean warehouse, items will be selected with greater speed and accuracy. It will be easier to measure inventory-holding costs and, therefore, reduce them while also better managing write-offs. These savings alone could often cover the cost of industrial janitorial services.
It is not only the workers you are protecting by using an industrial janitorial services company to keep the facility clean. Correct regular cleaning will also increase the lifespan of plant assets, such as floors, carpets, and equipment.
If the warehouse is clean, any issues or breakages will be more apparent. In a dirty environment, these minor snags or breakages could go unnoticed. If they are easy to notice because it is clean, it is easy for maintenance to do repairs before the problem causes extensive costly damage.
There is little doubt that having a professional cleaning company ensuring that the warehouse is always clean, hygienic, and safe offers many benefits. You cannot risk the health and well-being of staff, so it is important to get this right. Take care of the bigger, more obvious threat while also guaranteeing you are taking the cleaning issue for improved safety.
Speak to us at iNX for a comprehensive cleaning plan that will ensure the safety of your warehouse. Our representatives have the training, knowledge, and experience to offer a superior cleaning solution. Call 1 (888) TEAM-iNX today!