Tips for Industrial Floor Care
It’s certainly a challenge, but clean floors in the workplace are essential to the overall sanitation and safety of your operation. Whether you operate a large DC or small shop, keeping the floors clean and free of debris will help things run more efficiently and reduce accidents caused by slips, trips, and falls. Additionally, making floor maintenance a part of your routine keeps your products cleaner and deters vermin. Here are some crucial points to consider in tackling floor cleanliness.
Prevention is better than a cure – Dust is an annoyance and, if not dealt with, causes your workplace and products to become dirty. But some types of dust are not just dust—they’re hazardous! Silica and asbestos dust are particularly dangerous and may cause cancer. Effective June 23, 2018, OSHA has reduced the permissible exposure limit of respirable crystalline silica, requiring employers to use engineering and housekeeping controls to limit workers’ exposure.
Fibrogenic dust causes scar tissue to form and progressively changes the composition of your lung tissue after frequent exposure over longer periods. Black lung, caused by quartz and asbestos, is one of the most prevalent recognized occupational diseases.
Wood dust (such as oak and beech dust) can cause nasal cancer in the long term. Poisonous or carcinogenic dust from lead, cadmium, vanadium, or manganese damages your lungs and other organs like your liver and spleen. This type of dust is created during welding work, among other tasks.
These are just some types of dust that can be dangerous to your health. There are some ways to prevent dust from forming. But if dust can’t be prevented, it must be dealt with. Consider these options for preventing/controlling dust. Bind dust with water; use wet/dry vacuums, or instead of dry sweeping, use vacuum cleaners and vacuum sweepers with HEPA filtration.
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Floor cleaning machines – If hazardous dust is not a concern in your workplace, various industrial floor cleaning machines are available depending on your cleaning requirements. Survey your facility for the equipment best suited for your application. Common categories are sweepers, scrubbers, and vacuums.
Sweepers – If your floor gets littered with large debris, use a machine that picks up nuts, bolts, pallet chips, and similar waste. You can choose between rider sweepers and walk-behind models depending on your facilities’ needs, considering their size and budget.
Scrubbers – Everyday scrubbing can be handled with a variety of scrubbers. Some are compact to get into tight spaces, and others are built for large, open areas. Again, evaluate your needs. Consider how big the area is, how often the need to scrub is, and rider fatigue to determine the type of machine that meets your requirements.
Vacuums – Industrial vacuums can be used for a wide array of applications and are generally far more efficient at larger-scale cleaning tasks that require a more powerful vacuum.
Spills – Blotting and cleaning up spills should be done immediately to protect the integrity of the floor, and in cases of hazardous chemicals, it could be a matter of life or death. Liquid spills must be handled with spill kits approved for the type of liquid and the size of the spill. Universal spill kits are designed to absorb non-hazardous fluids like coolants and solvents. Oil-only spill kits are equipped to handle grease and oil-based liquids. A HazMat spill kit for hazardous materials is designed to absorb acid spills and other caustic and aggressive liquid chemicals.
Inspections – Adopt a facility inspection checklist that includes housekeeping guidelines. Be specific regarding floors. Be sure there are NO signs of spills; there is NO debris or garbage; the AISLES and dock area are neat/organized. Like proper vehicle maintenance, if you maintain your facilities’ floor, you won’t have to repair or replace it as often. Regular floor care prevents or will minimize serious floor damage, such as unevenness, scratches, bumps, and discoloration. In addition to safety issues and the cost of maintenance, when customers or potential clients see dirty and neglected flooring, it can quickly create a negative impression.
Action Lift is prepared to assist with your floor cleaning efforts. We carry premium industrial cleaning equipment from Karcher, including floor sweepers, scrubbers, vacuums, and cleaning solutions. We also carry industrial warehouse supplies through Allied Products and can supply a wide range of spill kits. Our sales specialists are here to help you choose the right industrial cleaning tools to fit your application, workforce, and budget. CONTACT us today.