As far as workplaces go, warehouses aren’t like traditional offices, retail spaces, factories, or outdoor workplaces. While the latter two types of workplaces are unique in their own right, when thinking of “workplace”, most people imagine an office or a store, and warehouses couldn’t be more different in almost every way. One of those ways in which warehouses differ comes with their maintenance.
The standard or expectation of cleanliness, the process of cleaning, the safety protocols, supplies used, and tasks, and the many more facets of warehouse cleaning are distinct. One thing that remains the same across workplace cleaning, at the moment, is the raised standard of “clean” and its heightened importance (thanks, pandemic). If you’re responsible for managing your warehouse’s maintenance, don’t let this discourage you. If anything, you should see it as an opportunity to learn and improve your processes and overall cleanliness, because doing so can (and will) benefit your business greatly! That said, here’s a warehouse cleaning checklist to get you on your way:
Storage & Inventory
The frequency of the cleaning of storage areas and inventory, while requiring less attention and routine cleaning (perhaps), needs to be increased overall. The pandemic has taught us that low traffic, secluded facility areas can contain and potentially spread harmful pathogens and contaminants when not properly maintained. A different checklist is required for each unique storage area, but the same maintenance tasks – cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting – are required.
Walkways & Common Areas
Walkways, common areas, high traffic spaces, high touchpoint surfaces, and communal warehouse fixtures – areas and surfaces that all warehouse staff frequent and come into contact with – should be categorized apart. From there, it’s simple. Your checklist should including clearing all debris, washing/cleaning all surfaces, and disinfecting, while the frequency of the tasks should be proportionate.
Cleaning a warehouse means cleaning everything in it, including everything that comes in and out of it regularly. This means your warehousing equipment, like forklifts and pallet jacks (and more), also need to be cleaned. First, we recommend putting equipment cleaning tasks in a category of their own. Then, we suggest designing a list of cleaning tasks that are specific to each piece of equipment. The checklist for each will be marginally different, but you can’t escape including tasks that ensure you clean, sanitize, and disinfect each piece of equipment.
The best warehouse cleaning checklist is a complete one that’s already prepared and provided by experts and industry leaders. Obviously, no two warehouses are the same (not even Amazon’s), meaning it’s best to adapt any comprehensive checklist to meet your warehouse’s specific needs, but it never hurts to get a headstart.
Feel free to check out this warehouse cleaning checklist and this warehouse cleaning infographic. Both provide plenty of categorized tasks and information that are critical to warehouse cleaning! Also, the CDC’s COVID-19 warehousing guidance, which you can find here, is another very helpful resource.