Warehouses are, by nature, large facilities that house a high volume of people. Under normal circumstances, this can lead to extremely powerful and wide-scale operations in a very efficient way. Now, due to the novel coronavirus, it’s an environment that needs to be carefully managed to keep your business open – and protect your workforce. When it comes to ensuring cleanliness and compliance with new sanitation guidelines, here are common touch points in your warehouse or production facility that need to be cleaned effectively to keep your employees safe.
Wearable clothing and equipment
These may be obvious, but they’re extremely important. Nothing has a greater capacity to spread a virus through your factory like a wildfire than unsanitized clothing or equipment that is shared amongst multiple workers. Any accessories worn on the wrists, hands, or head – as well as items like belts, communication equipment, and more – absolutely needs to be properly sanitized between each and every use.
This is a broad category of items – it can include radios, specialized job tools, electronics, and anything else requiring handling to assist in the completion of a worker’s task. The most efficient policy is to require every worker to sanitize their own equipment after use, before putting it into a designated ‘sanitized’ pile for the next worker. It’s important to train all employees on how to effectively sanitize, however, as cutting corners is easy to do, difficult to catch, and can be dangerous to everyone.
Most warehouses don’t assign every employee their own dedicated forklift, floor cleaner, or any other heavy machinery needed to keep operations running smoothly. For this reason, it’s essential that all control panels and seats are disinfected before a new user comes to operate the equipment. Keep all the tools and cleaners necessary to sanitize each piece of equipment near where machines are stored, so it’s convenient and efficient for workers to sanitize after their use.
Doors and handles
This one is easily overlooked in many facilities, but it’s an important one. All entrances, exits, bathroom doors, stall handles, sink faucets, appliance handles, drawer pulls and cabinet knobs – everything a hand touches to open or close or operate – absolutely needs to be sanitized each day. These are often the most touched objects in every facility, and the most likely to be forgotten during cleaning.
Cleaning a warehouse can feel like a daunting task, but it does become more doable when you ask everyone to work together to make it happen. By training workers to effectively sanitize their own equipment after use, you distribute the burden of labor and make it more likely to clean effectively, and less likely to experience a viral outbreak that can compromise your business – or your employees. By implementing policies and procedures to address these common touch points, you can feel confident you’re doing the most to protect your operations – and all the people who make it happen.