Government issues guidelines to warehouses on protecting the workforce

A 32-page document called “Working safely during COVID-19 in factories, plants and warehouses” has been published by the UK Government for employers, employees and the self-employed.

The guidance contains information about social distancing and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers, visitors and customers.

Many warehouses, particularly those handling online orders, have remained open. Following the government’s ease of lockdown restrictions, many more are reopening and workers are returning to work. All warehouse owners need to do a risk assessment to make sure that their warehouse operations conforms to government guidelines. These include:

• All staff that can do so, should work from home. Obviously, pickers and packers cannot do this, so must wash their hands frequently and follow social distancing guidelines, including when working in narrow aisles.
• If possible, workers should work in small teams to limit the number of people they come into contact with.
• If a worker deals face-to-face with customers, clear plastic screens can prevent contact between staff and customers.
• Surface and equipment such as heavy duty trolleys that are touched should be cleaned after use. Modern warehouse trolleys are made with powder-coated tubular steel and are easy to wipe clean.
• People who have existing health conditions that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19 should be offered a role in which they do not come into contact with anyone, or they should remain in home isolation.

Finally, anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19, such as a high temperature, should not come to work for at least seven days.

Posted by Mark
18th May 2020
Retail & Warehousing

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