With all the media coverage of Coronavirus (COVID-19) recently, it really makes us think about our cleaning habits.
Manufacturing facilities are continually challenged to keep facilities clean and safe by the need to sanitize frequently used equipment and machinery and not disrupt critical processes in what might be a 24-hour production operation. These can be ‘high touch’, ‘high traffic’ environments with numerous employees working within close range of each other. So, not is cleaning the only issue – social distancing becomes another challenge as well.
Whether you are in the shop or the office, it is everyone’s responsibility to maintain a clean working environment. Here are 5 tips to keeping a manufacturing facility clean.
1. Develop a plan for plant and machine cleaning
Start by creating a list of different areas in your facility that need to be cleaned daily. Chances are, each area will require different attention and cleaning tactics to be properly and effectively cleaned. Describe what will be cleaned in that specific area, then what cleaning supplies housekeeping and employees will need to clean those areas.
Be sure each machine is on a regular cleaning schedule. Always reference your machine handbook to properly have a “deep clean” each machine on a regular interval. Handles, doors, and the exterior of the machines should be cleaned daily, to prevent the spread of germs.
Posting signage in common areas of your manufacturing facility that describes how to prevent the spread of germs or how to properly clean a specific area, is a great start to developing a clean culture.
2. Provide your Employees with Cleaning Supplies
In a manufacturing facility, cleaning doesn’t solely lie on your housekeeping staffs shoulders. Your employees will be touching equipment, products and other various tools and items on the production floor. They will likely, be followed by someone on another shift, who will be touching the exact same items. By providing employees with disposable gloves, disinfecting wipes and antibacterial soap, you are helping them help you keep the facility clean.
Provide an outline of what employees should be wiping down before and after their shifts or use, also, when it is necessary to wear gloves to complete a certain task.
3. Make Cleaning a Habit
Cleaning and disinfecting areas should be part of your employee’s everyday tasks. Housekeeping should have in-depth daily routines, so high traffic areas are well maintained. Doorknobs, table tops, floors, railings should be high priorities for daily cleaning, as they are the surfaces that are prone to the most germs.
4. PPE Areas
Providing employees with a checklist that stays at their work station, will be a constant reminder that cleaning their area should take place daily. In designated “clean” or “white” rooms where PPE is required, you need to hold staff accountable. Zero tolerance policies for not “gowning up” properly, should be in place. Employees should be aware that not properly wearing their PPE, will result in disciplinary action.
5. Send Sick Employees Home
This one is simple. If an employee is sick, send them home. There is no need to risk the spread of the illness. Other employees will appreciate the company not putting them at risk to get sick. Read through this article from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that covers what employees and employers should know about being sick at work.
Providing your employees with a plan, proper cleaning supplies and knowledge of good cleaning practices, makes for a healthy and safe manufacturing facility. For tips on how to properly clean or disinfect, click here, for the CDC.gov Clean & Disinfect page for Coronavirus Disease 2019.