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Keeping industrial floors clean

by Madelein
Keeping industrial floors clean

Cleaning warehouse and factory floors is critical for health and safety of workers, efficient production and operations, as well as regulatory compliance, especially with the onset of COVID-19. To clean floors effectively owners of these facilities need to invest in cleaning equipment or have a specialised cleaning contract with a reputable cleaning company.

Emma Corder, Managing Director from Industroclean, says clean industrial floors not only keep everyone safe and healthy – they also extend the lifespan of floors.

“Floors can be costly to replace if not maintained correctly, and a clean environment keeps everyone safe. The build-up of dust can affect your machinery, which in turn, could damage the floor. It is important to ensure that the correct equipment is on site and that operators are thoroughly trained. Simple cleaning schedules will also go a long way to ensuring that warehouse spaces are kept clean and free of grime and dust,” says Emma.

Gregory Venter, Managing Director of Goscor Cleaning Equipment, agrees and adds that cleanliness is no longer an added incentive for your business – it’s one of the basic requirements.

“As business gets more competitive, there is very little margin for carelessness. First impressions count and are formed in a matter of seconds. In a busy warehouse or distribution centre, time is money – so you can’t afford inefficient processes. The right mix of cleaning equipment helps you keep your facility running without interruption from debris, clutter and dirt,” says Gregory.

Choosing the correct equipment and agents
Cleaning industrial facilities has unique challenges, as these buildings are large with a variety of spaces, including floors filled with equipment, warehouses with multiple doors, restrooms, break rooms, kitchenettes and offices. They often operate 24 hours a day making it difficult to remove dirt, microbes and germs, which is compounded by workers tracking debris, liquids, grease and chemicals from the factory floor into other spaces. There may also be dangers resulting from heavy machinery, industrial lubricants, chemicals, fiberglass and metal shavings, making thorough cleaning and maintenance more challenging.

When purchasing cleaning equipment, the cleaning company should know the different cleaning equipment types such as sweepers, scrubbers, industrial vacuums, high pressure cleaners and carpet extractors to help you select the most suitable make and model for your needs and the correct chemicals, degreasers and cleaning agents for your floors.

Cleaning machines are technologically advanced
A reputable machine that works fast, has low noise levels, optimum manoeuvrability and that is less strenuous for cleaning staff to use, should be considered. Some walk-behind models are ideal for smaller floor spaces, while ride-on equipment is suitable for large floor areas, with scrubbing mechanisms and turning radii designed to complete certain tasks.

Some equipment is engineered to be compact and to maximise performance. Others have a handle system allowing different operator heights and include battery packs or chargers. They may also have a range of easy fit brushes and drive boards providing uniform liquid delivery to the floor, ensuring consistent performance during use.

Plan before you clean
Effectively cleaning warehouse and factory floors needs planning and insight because there may be many floor types to maintain. Usually the bulk of the dirt is dry particulate soil which blows in through open doors, dirtying surfaces and warehouse floors, making products and equipment grimy and dusty.

Gregory from Groscor Cleaning Equipment comments: “To apply efficiency to your workspace – take inventory of your space, see what needs to be done, estimate how long it will take and what the cost will be, and then work towards streamlining the process.”

Goscor

The best way to plan the cleaning of your floors is to visualise your route in advance making sure the area to be cleaned is free from boxes, pallets and machinery. Check that there are no hazards in the way such as loose electrical cables or chemical spills, and depending on the level of dust or dirt, you may want to start by manually sweeping the floors.

Consider multi-purpose cleaning equipment
It is advisable to start cleaning at the far end of the floor moving towards to your initial starting point to avoid doubling over areas already swept and scrubbed and making it easier to gauge your progress. Traditionally, cleaning floors involved sweeping up debris by hand with a dust mop or with a sweeping machine, scrubbing them with an autoscrubber and then waiting for the floors to dry.

Machines that combine sweeping, scrubbing and drying can eliminate the need for dust mopping, removing the majority of the dirt and cleaning a large area in a short time. Some machines can be converted to pick up spills, extract grease and clean rubber mats, removing slip and fall risks for workers.

The equipment should also be able to clean offices, break rooms, kitchenettes and restrooms as these areas can harbour germs, grime and odour. By choosing the correct cleaning company and cleaning equipment, your floors will be hygienically clean, fresh-smelling and dry, protecting your workers, boosting production and ensuring you comply with legislation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thanks and acknowledgement are given to Goscor and Industroclean for some of the information contained in this article.

Main image:  Industroclean

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