Why More Cleanroom Managers are Outsourcing Cleaning

Who cleans your cleanroom? If you’re in the majority, your cleanroom workers are also taking on detailed cleaning responsibilities. Controlled Environments recently published the latest “Cleanroom Trends and Salary Survey,” and the cleaning trends have changed since last year. While the trend to use cleanroom workers as the primary cleaning staff rose slightly, from 42% to 46.3%, the other two categories saw significant change. People using an in-house cleaning staff dropped from 33% to 20.7%. Responders who say they outsource cleaning rose from 24% to 32.9%.

What’s causing fewer people to employ an in-house cleaning staff and more people to hire an outside cleaning company?

The most obvious reason a cleanroom facility wouldn’t hire an outside cleaning company is the expense. So if outsourcing is becoming more popular, the value of this service is probably becoming more evident. Let’s look at some of the costs a professional cleaning company helps cleanroom managers avoid.

  • Equipment and cleaning products. Any cleanroom facility needs cleaning tools regardless of who cleans it, but routine cleaning and less-frequent major cleaning jobs require more specific instruments that can be quite an investment. They also pose additional maintenance, disposal, and replacement costs.
  • Training and compliance. Cleanroom cleaning is so specific that there are protocols right down to the direction in which you can wipe a surface. Training for this job is extremely detailed, and it’s paramount that staff follows SOPs exactly or the room may not remain compliant. This, of course, would lead to even bigger problems.
  • Labor. The bigger cleaning jobs require extra staff, and arranging additional, qualified labor can be a drain on resources. Also, back-up cleaners are necessary to fill in when a primary staff member is ill or unavailable.
  • Quality of work. A cleanroom employee’s strengths and passions will lie in the actual work he or she performs in the cleanroom, not the cleaning tasks. Doubling up on duties can potentially hurt the quality of work performed during a shift and the cleaning itself.

Realistically, some cleaning jobs are going to be best handled in-house while others will make better sense to outsource. Anyone considering a change in how cleaning is handled should analyze the specific cleaning needs against the workflow to determine when and where a designated cleaning staff would most benefit the company.

When it’s time for the important cleanroom certification and/or validation, contact Gerbig Engineering Company. Cleanrooms have been our specialty for thirty years: 888-628-0056; info@gerbig.com.

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