Many facilities practice “hot spot” cleaning. Workers concentrate on soiled areas that appear dirty, while other areas that look relatively clean are neglected. The result is haphazard cleaning at best. Some areas of the facility will be well maintained, while others may be in great need of attention; ultimately, all areas will suffer. Dirt, dust and soils in one area of a factory can be easily tracked into others or become airborne. And airborne impurities can negatively affect indoor air quality and the cleanliness of the entire building.

The best way to avoid these problems is to have a cleaning and maintenance plan. For an office or a residence, this can be relatively easy. For instance, some experts suggest that cleaning be performed in a “clockwise” pattern or that workers be divided into teams, with some performing vacuuming tasks, others dusting and emptying trash, and others attending to the restrooms.

An effective cleaning program in a factory setting can be difficult to establish. Manufacturing facilities are often large, collect a lot of dirt and may be in operation 8, 12 or 24 hours per day. To get a program started will require time, flexibility, conducting a baseline survey, and incorporating a workloading program.

Baseline survey
First, inspect all areas of your facility to note which sections need the most cleaning attention and which require the least. Record which areas are currently being adequately cleaned and which are not. In addition, your survey should provide information such as:
  • When certain areas of the facility are used or not used;
  • What type of work is performed in different areas — sawing, cutting, assembly work, etc. — to help determine how much cleaning attention may be necessary;
  • What cleaning is now being provided in each area of the facility;
  • If conventional or green cleaning systems are in place;
  • How many cleaning workers are involved;
  • What cleaning chemicals, tools and equipment are now being used;
  • The type, quality and efficiency of the cleaning tools and equipment in use;
  • What source-control measures are in place, such as effective matting systems to help minimize soiling.
Your goal here is to obtain the “big picture” of the current climate.

A workloading program allows factory floor managers to determine the number of cleaning professionals needed to maintain a facility and, from this, the cost.

Workloading can be relatively easy to incorporate in an office setting. Most office cleaning involves similar duties — vacuuming carpets, mopping floors, dusting, cleaning restrooms, etc. Studies show one worker can clean approximately 3,000 square feet in about one hour. But there is no universal workloading program for all factory settings. Instead, an individual facility may need to establish a specific workloading program for each area of the operation. It will require examining:
  • The size of the area involved;
  • The number of factory workers in each area;
  • The number of cleaning workers available;
  • How long it takes to complete a task or clean an area;
  • How altering cleaning task frequencies will affect appearance, indoor health, overall maintenance, time and cost;
  • New cleaning duties that should be incorporated;
  • Unnecessary cleaning tasks that can be eliminated.
During task evaluation and creating a workloading program, many cleaning workers are concerned about working harder. However, the goal is to help cleaners work smarter, not harder.