• Dale Allen

5 Top Tips for Cleaning in Industrial Buildings

Updated: May 4

Industrial facilities generally have multiple shifts changing throughout the day. Add this to the fact that they also usually contain multiple working environments, like warehousing, offices, manufacturing, etc.


It adds up to create a uniquely difficult cleaning challenge.


It's important for your clients that you provide knowledge and experience when managing industrial cleaning contracts.


They're often open 24 hours and operating when cleaning is undertaken, raising the health and safety risk to your cleaning staff, so it's imperative that they follow cleaning and health and safety best practices and guidelines.


Here are some tips for thoroughly and safely cleaning in industrial buildings


Use the right equipment, chemicals and procedures for the job

Ensure you carefully check your clients requirements and specifications. The jobs which require specific chemicals or equipment are far more dangerous and require you to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of your cleaning staff and your clients employees.


In some locations there are certain restrictions on substitutions, meaning third-party certification of cleaning equipment or products is required.


Certification may be required for:

  • Safety equipment;

  • Chemicals;

  • Floor cleaning machines;

  • Auto-scrubbers;

  • Pressure washers;

  • Hoists and lifts;

  • Mops and cloths.

Professionally train your cleaning staff

Your cleaners should possess knowledge appropriate to cleaning, disinfecting and sanitising an industrial building.


There are many dangerous areas, often with big machinery and the liberal use of chemical substances. It's critical your cleaning staff understand guidelines and best practices for staying safe while cleaning in such hazardous areas.


Training your cleaners in the safe use of cleaning equipment and chemicals is also imperative.


Many of the chemicals your cleaners pose serious health risks, if mishandled. And cleaning work, in general, requires them to adopt some rather elaborate postures, putting pressure on their joints, nerves and muscles. Ensure they know the risks and what to do if they have concerns.


Choose the right team for the job

It's generally considered best practice to use separate cleaning teams for larger industrial facilities, where they contain multiple, large areas. Separate them into critical versus non-critical teams. This way you ensure there is no cross-contamination.


Non-critical areas include:

  • Common areas;

  • Offices;

  • Lunchrooms;

  • Warehouse space.

Critical areas include:

  • Manufacturing areas;

  • Laboratories;

  • Assembly areas;

  • Production areas;

  • Welding areas;

  • Dressing areas;

  • Etc.

Critical areas are generally tough to clean and require your cleaning staff to undertake further training in the machinery, cleaning equipment and the chemicals. They're also required to be supervised at all times.


Top to bottom, inside to outside

This cleaning method has been recommended for a long time because it's the only way to really simplify any clean. Ensuring you go from the very top all the way down to the bottom means you clean everything.


All the dirt up high gets knocked down onto anything below it. You then clean the next level, moving all that dirt down further. Down until it reaches the floor.


You're then able to easily remove all of that dirt - by vacuuming or sweeping - beginning in the corner that is farthest from the entrance and working your way back to the front doors.


Cleaning this way will ensure you remove all the dirt. It also means you don't track new dirt it as you're finishing up and leaving.


For differing industrial buildings this method will need to be altered slightly. This is because you're usually cleaning in areas where restrictions are in place. You will still clean from the top to the bottom, and the inside to the outside. You simply treat the area you're cleaning in this way.


Looking to provide training to your cleaning staff? Visit the International Association for Chemical Safety's FREE online safety academy with over 20 health and safety courses and certifications.


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