The Impact of Industrial Cleaning on Worker Productivity: A Statistical Analysis | Penn Jersey | Janitorial | Cleaning | Philadelphia PA

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The Impact of Industrial Cleaning on Worker Productivity: A Statistical Analysis

Cleaning's impact on your worker's health and productivity

Sickness is part and parcel of managing a modern business; it’s reasonable to assume that most workers will become sick at some point during their tenure. Unfortunately, it is in primary extraction and industrial businesses where these effects are most keenly felt.

According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of fatal work injuries are seen in logging, fishing, hunting, structural iron and steel, and other manufacturing businesses. Clearly, jobs in these industries have a physical aspect that makes them more dangerous, and they also frequently necessitate the use of heavy machinery that adds risk.

These workplaces do not need to be dangerous, however, and one way that employers can secure safety is through industrial cleaning. Several steps can be taken to eliminate crucial points of risk for workers in the industrial setting. Furthermore, proper cleaning can help to expose risks that might otherwise have remained hidden - further enhancing workplace safety.

Understanding the impact

The primary impact of industrial accidents is of course on personal health and wellbeing. Employers, however, also need to take responsibility for considering how accidents will impact productivity. There is clear evidence that points to the deleterious impact of sickness on productivity. A 2022 study published by Current Psychology notes how both presenteeism (attending work while sick) and absenteeism have a disproportionate impact on manufacturing productivity. It is important to consider how cleaning plays a role in this.

Reducing heat risk

Heat is one of the most important factors to consider in industrial worker safety. Numerous studies have shown the impact of heat on workers; one recent study, published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, found that 87.6% of exertion-related injuries are caused by excess heat. What’s more, this often occurs indoors - where you might expect heat to be better tolerated. These accidents have also increased with the incidence of extreme weather. As the climate has heated up, so too have workplaces.

Cleaning has a key role to play here. The timely and regular maintenance of ventilation systems will allow them to operate as required. The buildup of dust and other particulates in the ventilation systems will prevent proper air circulation and lead to heat buildup. As such, undertaking thorough industrial cleaning of ventilation/HVAC systems is essential.

Reducing slip risk

One of the primary mechanisms of workplace injury is slips, trips and falls. Research conducted by the University of Delaware found that these accidents are a leading cause of workplace injury, and account for 15% of accidental deaths. Given a physical injury will put industrial workers out of the workplace entirely, their impact cannot be underestimated despite sounding fairly innocuous.

The same UoD study also noted the influence of clear and navigable workplace pathways on reducing the risk of slips, trips and falls. Crucially, keeping areas safe to walk on (clear of frictionless surfaces including water and dust) and ensuring that any trash or other clutter is moved away seemed important. This is again where cleaning can have a powerful impact. Regular maintenance to reduce these risks will ensure work can be completed at a high level of productivity and greatly reduce the risk of trips, slips and falls.

A sense of confidence

Cleaning can tackle the main causes of injury within manufacturing and industrial workplaces. It can also help to tackle issues not felt quite as clearly as the risk of slips, trips, falls, and other physical accidents. This can include the management of infectious and seasonal diseases, which can impede productivity.

A 2023 systematic literature review published by the Journal of Pharmacoeconomics found a strong correlation between the workplace presence of influenza and other seasonal illnesses. Furthermore, between 60 and 80% of workers reported symptoms of such illnesses while in the workplace, and then continued to work. What this shows is that there is a link, even in industrial spaces, between the overall cleanliness of the office and the productivity of workers. Consider the impact a workplace will have on someone if coworkers are repeatedly sick with influenza and other viruses; it will undoubtedly create an aura about the place that results in lower productivity.

Considering the green

One niche impact on human health that many manufacturing facilities create can be seen through their use of heavy metals and chemicals. When actively considered in a cleaning regimen, this can lead to negative outcomes. A study analysed by EHS Today found that many industrial workplaces had lead levels above the federally dictated 200 ug per square foot, creating lower productivity and endangering employees. What’s more, these lead levels were evenly distributed within workplaces, often due to negligent cleaning levels.

Lead has many cognitive impairments that can impact the ability of workers to do a job properly and, worse, cause long-term health problems. Diligent cleaning that seeks to use specialist tools to ensure any excess lead is removed from the atmosphere, whether through specialized techniques or through proper ventilation, is crucial. It’s the same story for other toxic heavy metals.

Dirty workplaces create employee sickness and reduce their confidence in that workplace in keeping them safe. This, in turn, reduces productivity. Through this, it can be seen that cleaning has a direct and positive impact on productivity, given the right tools and considerations are provided.

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