From perishables to fine jewelry, today’s mammoth e-commerce distribution centers all have one thing in common when it comes to cleaning – safety is the priority.

Safety begins with the constant management of the micro-fine dust generated by corrugated boxes. Though almost invisible, this ever-present dust gets into everything from the circuit boards inside on-floor electronics to greasy lube points on big fork lifts. On hard surface floors, the dust forms a slippery, dangerous coating that sweeping cannot control. The only solution is frequent damp mopping of the floors. Facility-wide management of corrugate dust requires specialized procedures plus regular maintenance of air filtration systems.

Corrugated box management also focuses on safety. Fallen boxes and debris cause trip hazards and can slow down production. Maintenance teams must be well trained and knowledgeable about traffic flow, so they can be ready to pick up and remove debris quickly and with a minimum of interruption.

Broken pallets and dirty breakrooms contribute to an unsafe work environment.

Efficient pallet management is essential, especially when wood pallets are used. Unlike the lighter, safer plastic pallets, wood pallets often crack or break, exposing sharp nails and jagged, dirty surfaces. A plan should be in place to remove pallets quickly and stack them in a safe area.

Regularly scheduled cleaning and sanitizing of breakrooms and bathrooms throughout the day is crucial for employee health. This includes deep cleaning breakroom refrigerators and freezers once a week. During cold and flu season, sanitizing should be stepped up to minimize the transmission of germs and viruses.

Finally, all cleaning schedules must be flexible enough to integrate into the daily work flow. This is especially critical during busy seasons when there is more dust, more debris, more people, more germs, but less “open time” on the floor for duties such as wet mopping and deep cleaning.

Contributed by ABM, provider of facility solutions.