Five ways to encourage hygiene compliance on factory floors

As supply-chain bottlenecks begin to ease and we experience less disruption to industrial operations, you might be rethinking health, hygiene and safety in your manufacturing facility.

Of course, encouraging your employees to maintain optimum hygiene compliance levels while operating to the highest standards is a great challenge, but developing a clear plan of action will do most to help increase the health and wellbeing of workers and visitors.

With that in mind, check out these five ways to encourage hygiene compliance on your factory floor.

1. Create a culture of cleanliness through hygiene education

Hygienic practices in manufacturing should be more than a mere box-ticking exercise to meet industry regulations. A culture of cleanliness is what you should aim for on the factory floor, and to achieve this, it’s vital to communicate the practical benefits of good hygiene to both new employees and veteran staff.

As well as being vital for the health, wellbeing and safety of each individual, optimum hand hygiene and surface cleaning has the ability to increase factory productivity and ensure the line moves effectively. For example, research shows that 89%[1] of machine operators believe it is easier to inspect and detect faults on a clean machine. If you haven’t already, try communicating and educating these advantages in your training materials to encourage increased compliance on the factory floor.

2. Emphasize preventative maintenance

Malfunctions and breaks in the production line are one of the biggest stumbling blocks in manufacturing. Downtime can wreak havoc on your standards and can be a real bone of contention for employees. It is estimated that almost every factory loses at least 5% of productivity due to machine downtime – with some experiencing as much as a 20% loss[2].

Insufficient hygiene is one of the most overlooked factors in conquering production line problems. Practicing preventative maintenance by making cleaning a regular part of operations can prevent costly breaks in your workflow. Routine cleaning your entire production line as a regular procedure is vital to overall efficiency on the factory floor. Maintenance engineers should be able to spot any potential errors related to your factory cleanliness and point these out to you.

3. Invest in the best cleaning equipment for your staff

One of the most effective actions you can take in encouraging hygiene compliance – and to enhance overall productivity – is to provide your staff with the right cleaning equipment. It is crucial to provide employees with the tools they require for high-quality job performance. While it may be costly, investing in the best products for your factory is likely to make any cleaning your staff undertake much more effective. For example, no matter what task you have at hand at your factory, specially designed cleaning wipes and industrial cloths from Tork can help you get even the harder jobs done more quickly and efficiently. 

4. Review your hygiene hot spots

Encouraging your staff to target hot spots with hand hygiene and surface cleaning will help stop the spread of germs in your workplace and make your operations run smoothly. Production areas, break zones, washrooms and office spaces are hotbeds for infection transmission – the common denominator among these hotspots is that they are high traffic areas.

Objects and surfaces touched by many people throughout the day should be disinfected on a frequent basis to break the chain of infection transmission. Door handles, vehicles, tools, equipment handles, counter tops and tables are all objects that need regular cleaning. Sanitizing these hotspots should form a part of your daily surface cleaning checklist.

5. Keep critical supplies well stocked

To keep your employees safe and healthy, it’s crucial to focus on frequent hand washing and sanitizing. Ensure hand hygiene supplies are readily available and remember that plant workers should always wash their hands at the start and the end of their shifts and breaks, after using the restroom, when moving from one zone to another and after disposing of waste.

Placing Healthy Hands posters around your factory floor will provide valuable information on how to perform effective hand washing and sanitizing. A dispenser placement guide can also facilitate better hygiene.

Lack of supply can be a huge barrier to the hygiene process, so ensure everyone has access to the products they need. Tork Vision Cleaning – a data-driven cleaning solution – can help you keep track of product usage, ensuring dispensers are well stocked to boost staff efficiency.

1 Tork: Five kaizen tips to improve productivity in manufacturing
2 Oden Technologies: Downtime in manufacturing: what’s the true cost?