Health and Safety in the Warehouse During COVID-19
Written by Burt Sims
If you own a warehouse, you’ve likely implemented various equipment and policies to keep your employees and customers safe. However, you may have to make some adjustments to your safety plan during the coronavirus pandemic. So, consider taking some additional steps to keep everyone healthy as your business navigates the changes brought on by COVID-19. Here are some great coronavirus safety tips to consider for your warehouse!
Hire a Warehouse Manager
As a business owner, you probably don’t have a lot of time to commit to warehouse-related tasks. This is why it’s important to hire a warehouse manager. Warehouse managers are responsible for coordinating employees and keeping everything running smoothly, ensuring your customers receive their orders quickly and accurately — which is especially important during this period of increased online shopping!
According to 6 River Systems, a great warehouse manager should be able to forecast product demand and shifts in the market so they can avoid problems with inventory shortages and overstock. They also need to know how to troubleshoot and fix any problems that could threaten warehouse operations. When it comes to workplace safety, your warehouse manager will help you implement important measures to keep your warehouse coronavirus-free!
Sanitize Everything Frequently
Keeping your warehouse clean and sanitary is imperative to the health of your workers and customers. TRG recommends implementing new cleaning protocols for all the hardware and accessories in your warehouse that could transfer the virus from person to person. For example, wearable equipment such as wrist straps and headgear should be cleaned regularly and assigned to specific workers to prevent sharing. Handheld tools that are shared between workers should be thoroughly disinfected after each use. You may even have to increase the maintenance and cleaning frequency of your air circulation systems to improve the air quality in your warehouse and any office spaces in the building. Finally, place hand sanitizer throughout the warehouse so employees can use it liberally.
Rearrange Your Warehouse to Allow Social Distancing
Practicing social distancing in a warehouse can be tricky, so you may have to do some rearranging to keep everyone six feet apart. For example, you could decrease the number of employees allowed at packing tables, install protective sneeze guards between worker positions, and create one-way paths through the building with directional arrows on the floor. You can also stagger work breaks to limit the number of people in your break room at once.
Update Your Employee Handbook
Make sure your employees are clear on the new policies you’re putting in place to keep them safe. Update your employee handbook with any temporary and permanent changes you intend to implement. One policy to consider changing is your sick policy. Make sure your employees stay home if they feel sick and that they don’t feel pressured to come into work if they are uncertain about their health. You may also want to adjust your hygiene and dress code policy to ensure your workers wear masks and gloves at work.
Importantly, keep your employees informed about the changes you’re making in the warehouse to protect their health and manage fears people may have about returning to work. This is an excellent opportunity to show your workers how much you value them! If your employees feel like you care about their wellbeing, they will be much more likely to stick around for the long run.
As states reopen after the coronavirus lockdown, more and more warehouses are gearing up to get back to business. Acknowledge the safety of your workers and take steps to keep everyone healthy during this uncertain time. Being proactive to prevent an outbreak at your warehouse will ensure your business can continue to thrive and grow!