An industrial facility is a very different working environment than an office space, and consequently has a larger array of considerations for keeping things clean. Where as in an office the primary concern may be keeping floors clean and surfaces disinfected, industrial facilities often work with heavy machinery and chemicals.
Safety protocols make this a safer environment, but even the most careful crew can encounter accidents or health hazards that can be detrimental to the facility’s operation. As with so many things, preventative measures are far simpler and cheaper than containing issues after the fact.
Detoxifying Surfaces For Safer Industrial Facilities
In plants where toxic chemicals are used in production, or when manufacturing those chemicals is the plant’s purpose, residue finds its way to surfaces. Railings, floors, and even operation consoles for machinery are prime spots this can be an issue. Some of those facilities may require the use of hazmat suits to handle such substances, but even where toxic danger seems safe enough for plain clothes there can still be buildup.
Nitrogen oxide is a common side effect of welding equipment and diesel exhausts, and can affect eyes and mucous membranes of the body. Other common contaminants include ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and sulfur dioxide — all inorganic gases stemming from window cleaners, acidic drain cleaners, combustion machines, and even blueprint equipment. These gases also irritate eyes, but can also cause respiratory diseases in continuous exposures.
Soot, machine dust, vapors, oils, etc. can settle on tile floors, in grout, or even on metallic flooring. Every time it’s disturbed it can be swept back into the air and breathed by those around it. And it stays in the air more than many think.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) website states that inadequate ventilation is the leading reason for poor air quality in working environments across the board (52%). Contamination from within the building, which also includes the aforementioned buildup, accounts for another 16%.
Keeping the surfaces and air as clean as possible reduces absenteeism as well as workers comp claims. Final settlements on workers comp cases can take 3-6 months for lesser injuries; longer for serious ones. That’s a long time to be tied up dealing with that, costing the company time and money that could likely have been avoided.
Regular industrial cleaning services can alleviate this by removing this buildup from surfaces and floors, and even air vents themselves to improve circulation. Our cleaning solution is eco-friendly and does not use any harsh chemicals or allergens. It also will not add strong odors to the facility, which can be a distraction for workers.
The other advantage of a cleaning solution free of harsh chemicals is not having to worry about reactivity with any chemical substances used in the facility. It may seem unlikely or a strange thing to worry about, but cheaper cleaning products have all sorts of solvents in them that react to other chemicals. Sometimes these reactions are flammable or create toxic fumes. Just think of what happens when two common cleaners like bleach and ammonia are mixed together, for example.
Avoiding Slips and Accidents
Even careful employees occasionally slip and fall. When people work with large machines that require focus to operate safely, environmental irritations to eyes, skin, and lungs can take away from that focus and invite danger.
It’s a serious consideration. In fact, OSHA estimates that slips, trips, and falls are the second leading cause of accidental death in the US (after car accidents). 15% of all accidental yet fatal injuries are attributed to this.
When you lump in non-fatal injuries, statistics as recent as 2014 indicate over 1.1 million cases in the workplace that year. The majority of that number is made up of falls, contact with objects, and exposure to harmful substances.
Sometimes a slip happens due to clumsiness or other innocent reason. But busy job sites have enough going on without adding to the likelihood — even unintentionally — of someone taking a tumble.
Spot cleaning is a given and definitely helps. But what every facility needs is a thorough cleaning with specialized equipment. Industrial cleaning ensures these surfaces are free of contaminants and slippery materials without placing any additional burden on your staff.
So, in summary…
Cleaning services are a background task that, when done regularly and properly, keep the whole operation running smoother. A clean, safe workplace is good for morale, too.
Not that any business should neglect its cleaning, but industrial facilities simply can’t afford to skimp here. The sheer foot traffic, machinery, and other environmental factors put it in another league much like healthcare facilities where cleanliness is make or break.
Don’t leave that to chance and stagger your operation. Call us today to take the stress out of keeping things clean in your industrial facility!