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Open plant cleaning and maintaining a spic-and-span and safe environment in large, open industrial settings are crucial for optimal productivity, worker safety, and equipment longevity. However, the vast scale and unique challenges of these facilities present diverse obstacles for cleaning personnel.

In this article, the professional cleaning equipment and product suppliers at Pescatech will delve into some of the most common open plant cleaning challenges encountered in large facilities and offer a few effective strategies to overcome them.


5 Principal Challenges of Open Plant Cleaning and How to Overcome Them

Here are five common challenges of open plant cleaning:


Scale and Accessibility:

The sheer size and open layout of some industrial facilities can make it physically demanding and time-consuming to reach all areas where open plant cleaning is required. High ceilings, expansive floor spaces, and complex machinery configurations can create accessibility hurdles for traditional cleaning methods.


  • Investing in Specialised Cleaning Equipment: Utilising elevated platforms and extendable cleaning tools and even employing the use of mechanised equipment can alleviate some of these challenges and can significantly improve accessibility and efficiency.
  • Implementing a Zoned Cleaning Approach: Dividing the open plant cleaning process into smaller, more manageable zones and assigning dedicated cleaning teams to each can optimise resource allocation and ensure thorough cleaning coverage.
  • Prioritise Critical Areas: Identifying and prioritising areas with the highest risk of contamination or safety hazards can ensure that essential cleaning tasks are completed first.


Diverse Contaminants

Open Plant Cleaning

Industrial plants often house a variety of contaminants, from dust and debris to hazardous chemicals and oil or ingredients spills. The nature of these contaminants necessitates the use of specialised cleaning agents and techniques to ensure effective removal without compromising safety or causing environmental damage.


  • Chemical Compatibility Assessment: Thoroughly assessing the compatibility of cleaning agents with the specific contaminants and surfaces as part of your open plant cleaning procedure is crucial to avoid unintended reactions to workers or damage to machinery.
  • Implementing Spill Containment and Response Protocols: Having readily available spill-containment materials and established response procedures in place is essential for mitigating the risks associated with accidental spills.
  • Making Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Equipping cleaning staff with appropriate PPE, such as gloves, masks, safety glasses, or even respirators, if required, is vital for protecting them from exposure to hazardous contaminants.


Environmental Considerations

Industrial cleaning processes can have a significant environmental impact if not managed responsibly. Disposing of cleaning chemicals improperly or neglecting to address runoff can contaminate soil and water sources.


  • Adopting Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products: Choosing cleaning agents with biodegradable or non-toxic formulations and proper drainage solutions can minimise your environmental impact.
  • Implementing Responsible Waste Disposal Procedures: Establishing designated waste-disposal areas and adhering to proper disposal regulations for hazardous materials is essential for environmental protection.
  • Investing in Water Conservation Technologies: Using water-efficient cleaning methods and equipment can significantly reduce water consumption and wastewater generation.


Safety Hazards

Industrial environments inherently pose safety risks, including exposure to falling objects, slippery surfaces, electrical hazards, and more. Cleaning crews must navigate these hazards while performing their tasks, necessitating a strong focus on safety protocols.


  • Conducting Thorough Risk Assessments: Identifying potential hazards before commencing with an open plant cleaning operation allows for the implementation of appropriate safety measures.
  • Providing Comprehensive Safety Training: Equipping cleaning personnel with the skills and knowledge to recognise and avoid hazards is crucial for ensuring their safety.
  • Introducing Colour-Coded Cleaning Equipment: The introduction of colour-coded cleaning equipment goes a long way to avoid cross-contamination between departments or from floor cleaning to dishwashing tasks. Moreover, it assists in training and avoids any translation difficulties.


Integration with Ongoing Operations

Cleaning activities in large, open plants often need to be integrated with ongoing operations to minimise downtime and its associated consequential losses. This requires effective communication and collaboration between cleaning teams and plant personnel.


  • Scheduling Cleaning Activities During Downtime: Scheduling cleaning tasks during periods of planned downtime or reduced production periods can minimise disruptions to ongoing operations.
  • Establishing Clear Communication Channels: Maintaining open communication channels between cleaning crews and plant personnel allows for improved identification and resolution of any challenges that may arise.


Or Simply Choose Pescatech for All Your Open Plant Cleaning Needs

At Pescatech, we are the leading specialists in southern Africa for the supply of superior-quality cleaning equipment, products, and solutions. We have travelled the globe, learning from our suppliers, and have applied this knowledge to the local marketplace.

We offer 360° open plant cleaning solutions that will meet your every need. So, for the best quality, colour-coded cleaning equipment, informed advice, knowledgeable opinions, and exceptional after-sales service, contact us at Pescatech today.


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