Warehouses are an essential part of the supply chain, and a COVID secure warehouse is something all businesses should strive for. It is going to require greater levels of flexibility from employees and employers to tackle the pandemic.
What we know about COVID-19 so far is that workers are at particular risk if they are older or have an underlying medical condition. Spread from person-to-person can occur with close contact of approximately six feet. Sneezes, coughs, or talking can transmit the virus. Warehouse workers need to remember that people can spread the virus even when they display or feel no symptoms.
Warehouses may see an increase in on-demand warehousing solutions and warehouse sharing. Even when workloads increase, some actions can help. You can increase the frequency of surface cleaning, introduce screen barriers, keep close working activities as short as possible, and create more shifts to stagger arrival and departure times.
Introducing one-way flow systems, maintaining a record of all visitors, and ensuring ventilation systems are working effectively all play a crucial role.
Guidelines & Procedures
These guidelines and procedures can help your warehouse reduce the R number.
Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth after touching surfaces and objects that may have been touched by another warehouse worker, truck driver, or customer. This might include electric vehicle warehouse equipment such as a burden carrier or pedestrian platform truck.
Stay at home if you feel sick and don’t go back to work until your healthcare provider says it is safe to do so. Inform your supervisor or manager, as well as anyone you live with, or have had close contact with recently.
Maintain a safe distance from coworkers and wear a mask or face-covering in public and when at work, if allowed to do so. Please do not touch your mask while wearing it and avoid touching your face when removing it. Wash your hands before and after you put on or take off your mask and use a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitiser. Wash your mask after every use or replace it.
Equipment can play a role in tackling the virus. Workers can move loads on their own with the right equipment and reduce the number of close contact work occasions. However, be careful not to cause other warehouse safety issues. If you wear a mask, make sure it does not block your vision when using warehouse equipment such as tow tractors, utility vehicles, and burden carriers.
The business could also consider reducing the number of people authorised to use vehicles to lower the risk of touch transmission.