Warehouse Management During the Pandemic

May 9, 2020 2:40 pm

“How are warehouses keeping their employees safe during an extremely contagious viral outbreak like the Coronavirus?”

That’s a question that every manufacturing and distribution warehouse is trying to figure out the answer. The COVID-19 pandemic has already changed the warehouse environment, and will continue to do so throughout 2021 and beyond. The CDC and other government bodies have set new guidelines and have also advised that groups should not gather and individuals should keep a distance of at least six feet away from each other to help prevent the spread of the virus. This can be difficult for workers in a large, busy warehouse or distribution center.

The need for storage shelving solutions especially by multinationals offering e-commerce services continue to be on the rise due to the rise in online shopping during the pandemic. So, how can those running these warehouses ensure that their employees are safe?

Here are a few things that can be done to keep warehouses safe during the pandemic:

  1. Implement Hygiene Protocols Since the beginning of the pandemic, government bodies and health authorities have stressed the importance of washing hands in preventing the spread. Washing your hands for just 20 seconds can help break down the virus. Workers need to be reminded to wash their hands before and after handling equipment, materials, packages etc. Employers should also place washing stations around the warehouse for employees.
  2. Ensure Employees Take Necessary Sick Leave Employers and employees are equally responsible in ensuring that anybody who has the symptoms must stay home. As the virus is highly contagious, one person can potentially infect several others and bring warehouse operations to a standstill.
  3. Social Distancing Within Warehouses This one is tricky but not impossible. By splitting teams and putting them in separate shifts, employers can reduce the number of people in a warehouse at one time which can help maintain the mandatory six-feet distance. Break times should also be staggered so workers don’t have to come into contact with one another.
  4. Deep Cleaning and Disinfecting Industrial steel shelving units that house products and materials within a warehouse are frequently touched by workers making it a high-contact area. The virus is highly resilient and is known to survive on some surfaces for hours and others for days. Therefore, cleaning should become an integral part of the warehouse process. A deep cleaning and disinfecting session are advised after every shift change.

These are just some of the measures that can be taken by warehouses to ensure the safety of their employees and the continuity of their business. By implementing these changes and taking the right precautionary measures now, warehouses can work better during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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