Warehouse COVID Safety Guide 2020
Important Warehouse Safety Considerations for Post-COVID
This year, warehouses across the world have had to deal with the most difficult challenge of a lifetime. At SEC Storage, we have been working round the clock to help our clients mitigate the risks of COVID-19. Although COVID-19 has been a different hazard, our team are used to managing warehouse safety. To reaffirm our commitment to warehouse safety, we’ve compiled a warehouse COVID safety guide for 2020.
Our experts have been working with warehouses across the country to ensure they’re safe during the pandemic. We have broken this process down into three easily digestible actions:
In this blog, we’re going to explore why these three actions can increase your warehouse’s safety during the pandemic. But to start with, let’s explore the government’s guidelines over warehouse safety during COVID-19.
Being able to work safely during COVID-19 is essential for any warehouse right now. Clearly, this is difficult during a public health emergency. This is why the government has issued guidance for warehouses, factories and plants. They include information on the correct PPE, social distancing rules, and the correct cleaning processes.
The guidelines highlight that no one will understand your business more than you. As the manager, business owner or CEO, you will need to assess the risks within your business. Both for your team and any visitors to your warehouse. This is called your risk assessment.
Every day, there will be risks and hazards in your warehouse. Effective warehouse safety measures are about identifying these risks and planning on how to mitigate them. It’s important to understand that the risk COVID-19 poses can never be completely eliminated. However, you can protect your team by conducting a thorough risk assessment and implementing solutions to the risks you highlight.
Here are three crucial factors the government’s guidelines focus on when planning for your employee’s safety:
The government guidelines state that allowing members of your team to self-isolate is crucial. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, living in a household with someone who has symptoms, or are in a support bubble with someone who has symptoms, will need to self-isolate as part of the UK’s test and trace program. It’s important to put in place measures that allow anyone self-isolating to work from home if possible. As well as this, you need to consult the relevant guidance on statutory sick pay for anyone isolating.
It’s vital you protect people within your business who are at a higher risk from COVID-19. These include people who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable individuals and clinically vulnerable individuals. People classified as extremely vulnerable were advised to work from home during the peak of the pandemic and only return when infections rates are low.
Anyone who is vulnerable is at risk of developing more severe illness from COVID-19. To support them, you should allow them to work from home if possible. If this is not possible, ensure they can maintain social distancing at all times. This will be difficult for everyone, so make sure you have support in place for any employees struggling with their mental health.
To combat the risks of COVID-19, it’s important to enhance your warehouse’s ventilation. This will increase the amount of fresh air distributed through your workplace. You can do this by adapting the fan speed and making sure it’s always on while people are working. Another important step to take is to have as many doors and windows open as possible. Consider investing in any types of fans, they will also make an impact in the fight against COVID-19.
For businesses, the last few months have been extremely stressful. You’ve had to deal with several issues that have required a lot of attention. One of the most important factors to deal with is getting back to work safely to begin making a profit again. That’s why we’ve compiled a thorough warehouse safety guide. This includes three important measures you need to take starting with training for your team:
Staff training is the key to improving any processes in the workplace. Safety is no exception to this rule, especially during this pandemic. As a manager of a
warehouse, you may already understand the importance of PPE when it comes to safety. However, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, you may have to work with different items than your team are used to. This means you will need to train your team on how to wear and remove the PPE correctly.
Hygiene standards are very important to set before you get back to work. Ensure everyone knows to wash or disinfect their hands regularly and not touch their face. This will reduce the risk of surface transmission from infectious droplets.
Another important safety measure you will need to instil in your team is to respect the social distancing rule. This is difficult as maintaining a distance goes against a lot of our natural instincts. But it can also present challenges in your employees’ job roles. With the right training, however, you can ensure your team maintains social distancing. It’s important to inspect your workplace to identify any areas where social distancing is not possible.
Inspecting is about risk assessing your warehouse. One of the biggest ways that COVID-19 is transmitted, is when people don’t maintain a distance. In scenarios where social distancing of one metre cannot be maintained, it’s important to mitigate the risks. This includes your staff wearing the appropriate PPE, creating a barrier with a plastic screen, and ensuring your workplace is properly ventilated.
Other areas you need to inspect in your warehouse are touchpoints and high-traffic areas. These are areas which may need more regular cleaning than quieter parts of your warehouse. Surface transmission is a big risk you will need to mitigate to get back to work safely. This can be done by limiting the number of people working in specific areas and with different products or machinery.
For any products entering or leaving your warehouse, ensure they’re cleaned and decontaminated. As much as possible, limit the number of people who have contact with these products. The fewer people are involved in a process in your warehouse the lower the risk of transmission becomes.
It’s also important to limit how many different people use machinery and tools in your warehouse. Ensure anyone using equipment wears gloves where possible and cleans the item once their task is completed. These are just examples of some ways to reduce the risk of transmission in your warehouse.
Thank you for reading our warehouse COVID safety guide for 2020. To find out how to make your warehouse safe, and potentially improve your warehouse design and overall efficiency, get in touch with our team today:
Give us a call on 01438 731990 or please feel free to fill in the enquiry form on our contact page today.