If you run a warehouse, you may be concerned about protecting your staff and customers from COVID-19. Although state governments are loosening up regulations and lifting stay-at-home orders, the virus still poses a threat to public health — and one employee getting sick could spread the virus to the rest of your staff. The following tips will help you create a safe work environment for your warehouse employees and clients.
This is a good time to update certain safety mechanisms and processes in your warehouse. Perhaps you need to upgrade the lighting in certain areas to prevent accidents or mark new pedestrian routes in the aisles so that collisions don’t occur.
You may also want to double-check the functioning of any industrial control panels in your warehouse. These panels don’t include the main power source or any controlled equipment; rather, they send electrical signals which direct the motions of machinery and equipment through power circuits, control circuits, or both. They are either enclosed or mounted on a back panel or subpanel. The design process for developing industrial control panels, which starts with preparing schematics and incorporating design requirements and specifications, is fairly complex since the final result must meet certain regulatory standards and safety requirements. As such, It’s very important to run safety tests on a regular basis to make sure that your panels comply with national regulatory standards in the industry.
You should strongly consider requiring all employees to undergo a temperature check before they enter the warehouse. If one of your employees has a fever, you can act quickly and send them home. Employees should be able to maintain confidentiality during these daily checks, and their results must be kept private. Furthermore, employees should be considered “on the clock” while waiting for their temperature check and while having their temperature taken. Let employees know that this daily check-up is mandatory.
Providing PPE to all of your employees is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your facility. Depending on the nature of the work that your employees are engaged in, they may need PPE that is specific to their industry. No matter what, all of your employees should be provided with masks and hand sanitizer at all times.
Make sure that all of your employees understand how to properly put on, take off, and dispose of single-use masks or washcloth masks. You may want to demonstrate correct mask-wearing techniques. Providing basic PPE to workers can continue after the pandemic ends; after all, it would be helpful to have your staff wearing masks during cold and flu season.
You will need to implement social distancing rules for your warehouse. Even if your employees are wearing PPE, maintaining social distance will help prevent viral spread. How can you ensure your employees keep several feet of space between them whenever possible? KardexRemstar recommends using visual cues on the floor to designate workspaces that are six feet apart. You can also set one-way traffic flows in each aisle and conduct “zero-touch” transactions with customers, which you may want to establish as a norm during future flu seasons as well.
Clean Between Shifts
Of course, it’s very important to keep your entire warehouse clean. In order to make sure your facility undergoes regular cleanings, have each employee help out with wiping down certain areas at the beginning and end of each shift.
If your facility is closed during the weekends, CleanLink recommends taking extra time to disinfect all touchpoints, including equipment or panels that are not frequently touched. You may want to stick with these cleaning routines permanently, even after the risk of COVID-19 has lessened, as it will help prevent the spread of other diseases as well.
As a warehouse manager, you naturally want to ensure the safety of your employees. This pandemic has posed many challenges for employers and workers alike. With these tips, you will be able to keep business operations going while taking steps to prevent COVID-19 from spreading amongst your staff.
~ Post submitted by Burt Sims, a safety guru. As a former workplace safety consultant, it was Burt’s job to help manufacturing facilities prevent on-site accidents. Please visit his site at alertburt.com