In order for you to make sure that you are providing the safest and healthiest possible environment for your employees, it is important that you make the regular cleaning and maintenance of your workshop, warehouse, or factory an integral part of your company’s safety policy. It also ensures that you are in compliance with all of the state and federal regulations appropriate to your industry. Not only that, but a clean, tidy, and organized workplace promotes a positive environment, more accurate management of inventories, an increase in productivity, and fewer accidents and staff absences – all key to boosting the bottom line of your company.
In the same vein, a workshop, factory floor or warehouse that is cluttered and dirty is a hazard waiting to happen. There are many more chances of accidents occurring because of the debris left in aisles or on shelves. It may be broken pallets, plastic wrapping, oil spills from machinery – all of these are huge slip and fall hazards. Employees will react negatively and not work at their best. They will pay less attention to the important small details when completing a task because they have to be hyper aware of their surroundings. If they think their employer does not care about them and their safety, why would they care about putting the effort in for their employer?
Here, we look at why it is important to keep a clean and tidy workplace and how to go about maintaining it.
A cleaner workplace – whether that is a retail space, office, factory, warehouse or studio -is almost always going to result in healthier employees. If the task seems to be too big for you to handle by yourself, look at hiring a cleaning company. Their whole job and reputation depends on making sure the area that they are contracted to clean is perfect, so they are going to do it properly.
When cleaning, try to use hypoallergenic and eco-friendly cleaning products where possible. This is not only better for the health of your employees and visitors to the site, but are less damaging to the environment as well.
It is beneficial to your business as well. The healthier your staff members are, the less time off they will need. The less time off they need, the less it costs you in sick pay, cover or loss of production. It is a win for everyone involved.
Pretty much every country, every state and every city will have guidance, regulations and rules when it comes to safety and hygiene measures in the workplace. This is to make sure that everyone on site, whether that is the employees, boss, clients and customers, vendors or other guests are safe.
If your company does not meet these strict rules, you can find yourself landed with heavy fines, shut down orders or even imprisonment. Inspections by hygiene and health and safety officers are almost always without warning, but can also be triggered by complaints. Make sure you do not have anything to worry about or give them any reason to pay additional visits to you.
It is also important to be aware that we live in a litigative society. People – quite rightly – want compensation for the pain and inconvenience to their lives should they be injured or made ill through something that was not their fault. If your workplace is the cause of someone getting hurt or sick, and it was because you were negligent, whether intentionally or accidentally, you can find yourself faced with some pretty steep legal bills. This action will not just hurt your bank account, but your reputation as well. Who wants to work for, work with or buy from a business that does not care about health and safety? Contrary to popular belief, not all publicity is good publicity!
It does not matter what sort of work environment it is, a clean and tidy one will guarantee higher productivity levels from your employees.
If they are not sorting through piles of paperwork and files to get at something that they need to carry out a task, they can focus more on the task in hand. Similarly for production, warehouse or manufacturing work – if they are not having to worry about tripping over things left out on the floor or things falling on top of them, they can concentrate on whatever it is that they need to do, thus increasing productivity levels.
As well as that, if your staff know that their health, safety and general wellbeing is important, they are more likely to be loyal and work hard.
Maintains Your Company Reputation
If word was to get out that your business is unhygienic and dangerous, it would be devastating for your reputation. These days, consumers are more aware of business ethics and if you are not clean and tidy, are you following ethical business practices? Probably not.
If clients and potential partners pay a visit to your workplace and find a messy and disorganized site, it does not bode well for a good working partnership. They are going to – whether rightly or wrongly – assume you are also disorganized and chaotic, and do business elsewhere. And, who can blame them?
Top Tips for Maintaining a Clean and Tidy Workplace
Make Someone Responsible
While everyone in the workplace needs to take responsibility for keeping it clean and tidy, make sure someone has the overall responsibility. They can then delegate the cleaning and tidying tasks and ensure that everyone is pulling their weight, and eat with any issues as and when they come up.
Have Access to the Equipment and Materials Needed
There is nothing worse than needing a dustpan and brush to clean up, say, some broken glass, and not being able to find one. There is only so much effort to clean up that most people will go to. Ensure that you have everything that you need to keep the workplace clean, safe and tidy. These, of course, are dependent on the individual workplace, but the following are wise:
- Vacuum cleaner
- Mop and bucket
- Floor buffer (for making floors look shiny and clean)
- Used Industrial Dust Collectors (especially important in environments where dust is created)
- Antibacterial cleaner
- Selection of wipes and cloths
- Trash cans of all sizes
- Dustpan and brush
- Plenty of garbage sacks and bags
Of course, there will be plenty more things to add to the list. The person to whom you delegate overall responsibility for cleaning should ensure that there is always adequate provision of these, and order in more if and when necessary.
Encourage Cleaning UpAs You Go
In a large, busy workplace, it is possible for things to get messy too easily when conducting business is a priority. It will quickly become second nature if you practice tidying up mess and clutter while you work, and you will not have to spend long periods cleaning an overflowing desk or shop floor. A kitchen or production line can easily become dangerous work environments if things are not kepy tidy.
Have aCleaning Checklist
In order to make sure that nothing is overlooked, create a quick checklist of the places that require care. How often, for example, are staff toilets bleached, the trash cans empties and floor mopped? Again, this could be something that the person in charge of cleaning is responsible for overseeing.
Ensure There Is Space for Everything
One of the biggest causes of clutter and mess is there not being a space for things to be put away. It is important to make space for everything. Not only does this keep the workplace clean and tidy, but it is much easier to find things when you need them and for you to keep an inventory of stock.
Build in a block of time first thing in the morning, after lunch and before you go home in the evening to check over everything, make sure everything iis in the right place and clean and tidy.
If you have a large team of people it can get confusing knowing who needs to do what in what order. Have an opening and closing flow chart, to ensure that tasks are carried out in the correct order.
Find Practical Solutions to Issues
Encourage your employees to communicate recurring problems so that realistic solutions can be enforced by management. Perhaps the office needs a shredder and recycling provision if the bins are full too quickly. If the cleaning materials inventory runs out too soon, then a larger order should be authorized. As workers report concerns, they find that an easy solution is likely to be available to ensure that the workplace is maintained as a comfortable and efficient place to be.
The last place you want to think about cleaning might be at work, but neither your employees nor clients want to be in a dirty or messy setting. A facility presentable for customers to visit means you are making a positive first impression and workers are more likely to work well in clean and tidy conditions.