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Don't waste time cleaning

01 November 2016

Adopting efficient cleaning technology in the workplace mitigates the risk of slips and trips, bacterial and airborne hazards. And, according to Jeff Hilton, Kärcher’s target market manager for transport & logistics, keeping your premises and your reputation clean is a lot faster and cheaper to achieve than you might think.

Cleaning can be looked upon as a threefold asset defence exercise; protecting the health and safety of your workforce, the quality of the goods you handle and the longevity of your machinery and equipment on site. Moreover, if your customers directly interact with you on your own or franchisee premises then studies have consistently shown your cleanliness standards - particularly in leisure, health and retail environments - will have an impact on how they perceive your brand. (But this doesn’t excuse the rest of us seemly not on the front line!)

The value you place upon cleanliness will to some extent be governed by the goods and services you’re responsible for; if you handle hazardous or potentially explosive goods or high value electronic components and garments where dust could damage your goods, cleanliness takes on added significance.

Many businesses now operate 24/7 and all have tough targets. Therefore time is precious and cleaning windows are short, so it’s easy to see why more efficient, preventative cleaning is often overlooked in favour of cleaning only when there is an accidental spill, or the dirt has built up to an unacceptable level. However, much like taking time to schedule preventative machine and equipment servicing, in reality, cleaning little and often is the less onerous route.

The resource and time saving benefits of cleaning machines quickly stack up, making them cost-effective methods of cleaning. Even simply using a high pressure cleaner to keep workshop floors, yards and business vehicles clean makes sound financial sense on its own. Because as well as keeping your business looking good, cleaning with a pressure washer saves you time and uses less water than a bucket and sponge.

Innovative cleaning technologies, from micro-scrubber driers no bigger than an average domestic vacuum cleaner, to the latest in moisture-free ice blasting, can make short work of once labour-intensive tasks, with many eliminating the need for downtime during use altogether.

While we often think of wet or contaminated floors as a slip hazard, even seemingly innocuous dust can, once settled, greatly increase the risk of slips; therefore the simple act of sweeping can play an important part in preventing accidents. Aside from accidental spills, the majority of dirt inside your business comes from outside, and in times of wet or wintry weather, this can mean excess water, leaves and mud blown in from open doors and traipsed in by staff. Sweeping outdoors will cut the dirt entering by two thirds, and it’s significantly easier to keep dirt out of a building than to clean up once it’s indoors. Moreover, even a modest walk-behind sweeper is seven times faster than a broom - cleaning faster and more effectively, suppressing dust and reducing messy and inefficient trips to the bin.

Cross contamination

Beyond the physical dirt you can see, cross contamination risks from toilets, locker rooms and catering facilities need to be managed. While a mop and bucket may be commonplace, this traditional method moves dirty water around, leaves floors wet, creates a slip hazard and renders areas out of bounds while they dry.

Scrubber driers instead, scrub the floor in a wet process and dry it by recovering the washing solution in a single pass, providing a safer, more consistent, efficient and hygienic alternative.

It’s important to remember that potential customers read superior cleanliness as superior care. They trust that if every visible part of the business is sparkling, the inner workings are too, and they picture an organised, thorough and safe operation behind the scenes. Conversely, customers look at tatty handwritten signs, dirty vehicle exteriors and shabby restrooms and think: “If they’ve scrimped here, where else have they cut corners?”

It’s clear that clean operations can give you a competitive edge; moreover employing labour-saving cleaning technology can do this in an affordable way. Achieving the best results in the shortest time not only ensures a stunning first impression, it means more productive time; that's more time for the things you really want to be getting on with.