Tips for COVID-19 warehouse safety

Workplaces have introduced a number of health and safety measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic. As most of the population is vaccinated, the threat from the virus is diminishing. However, scientists predict that it will take a long time to eradicate the virus, if at all.

Andrea Ammon, head of the European Centre for Disease Prevention, said:

“We should be prepared that it will remain with us. It wouldn’t be the first virus that is with us forever, so it’s not an unusual feature for a virus.”

We will have to adapt to living with the virus. As a result, warehouses will need to think long term about anti-virus measures. Here are some tips for COVID-19 safety in the warehouse:

Surfaces

Viruses can survive on hard surfaces, which is why the equipment used, as well as the workplace, needs regular cleaning.

Warehouses in most sectors store and move inventory using material handling and storage equipment, which should be cleaned regularly. Here at Steely Products, all of our equipment is easy to clean – simply wipe it with a cloth and disinfectant sanitiser solution.

The air

Research by scientists, including Emanuel Goldman, a microbiologist at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, has found that there is little risk of catching the COVID-19 virus through touching surfaces. As COVID is airborne, it’s easier to catch it by breathing in particles that contain the virus.

While cleaning and hand washing should not be abandoned, evidence points to ventilation being a priority. Face masks are effective to prevent breathing in the virus and transmitting it from our breath into the atmosphere, but for many warehouses, the best solution is to install a new ventilation system. While this may be expensive, it’s worth it to protect the health of employees and members of the public.

Social distancing

Social distancing may be necessary for the foreseeable future. This can be difficult in shelving areas with narrow aisles. However, one-way systems can be introduced to prevent workers from coming too close to each other. Narrow warehouse trolleys can widen the gap between pickers who pass each other in aisles.

Homeworking

The government is encouraging people to work from home. For many warehouse workers, however, this is not possible. Office administration staff may be able to remote work, but warehouse pickers and packers have no choice but to be at the workplace.

Warehouse owners and managers should therefore ensure a detailed risk assessment is carried out, and all appropriate safety measures are in place. In addition, a fully vaccinated workforce will be at minimum risk from catching the Covid virus.

Safety updates

The Health and Safety Executive provides COVID-19 health guidance that is regularly updated as more is discovered about the virus. Those responsible for workplace health and safety should ensure they are up to date with the latest information.

To find out more about our easy-to-clean storage equipment, give us a call or contact Steely Products via the form below.

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    Posted by Katrina
    22nd June 2021
    Retail & Warehousing

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