With two thirds of the UK population now fully vaccinated and hospitalisations and deaths down from the grim post-Christmas period, many feel the threat of COVID-19 has been largely nullified.
However, as we approach the Autumn and Winter months, certain graphs are on a gradual but worrying upwards trend and the Chief Medical Officer has advised that, without a raft of new measures to supress infections, hospital admissions could exceed the early 2021 peak.
As such, implementing workplace safety measures must remain a priority.
The risk to warehouse workers
Any indoor work environment poses a heightened risk of infection to those operating within it, but warehouses present some particular dangers.
Firstly, warehouses often contain hundreds, sometimes thousands of workers, operating in crowded, high-traffic spaces, and, where noise levels are excessive, workers must raise their voices to communicate. For an airborne virus like COVID-19, these conditions can be the perfect breeding ground. Warehouse work is also often conducted at a fast pace and opportunities to sanitise are limited.
The good news is, these risks can be mitigated by implementing a range of simple measures.
Making your warehouse COVID-secure
Ventilation: A well ventilated space has been shown to reduce the risk of transmission. Warehouses should introduce measures and systems that allow the maximum supply of fresh air to be circulated around the facility.
Social distancing: The return of 2m distancing (or 1m with risk mitigation protocols in place) may be necessary again. Staggering the start and end of shift allocations, implementing one way systems, and mandating back-to-back working (rather than side-to-side) will help to diminish risk of transmission.
Work stations: Where workers operate in a single, designated space warehouse managers should consider using floor markings to show safe distances, installing screen dividers between workers, and mandate pairing systems where a task requires two people.
Sanitation: It may be necessary to increase cleaning efforts should cases spike. General work spaces should be subject to more regular deep cleans and objects and surfaces that are handled repeatedly, such as door handles and machine controls, should be frequently sanitised. Signage to maintain hygiene standards should be visible with hand sanitiser stations placed in multiple locations.
Goods handling: Whetherit’s a parcel due to be sent out for delivery, or a tool that passes through multiple hands, wearing gloves and using anti-viral sprays on objects after handling is recommended.
Face coverings: Where practicable, workers should use face coverings that cover the mouth and nose. For warehouse workers whose roles require added physical exertion, clear screen visors prevent some of the breathing difficulties associated with masks while still offering an effective barrier to transmission.
Sprint Logistics: Warehouse specialists
Global businesses need reliable distribution and warehousing facilities. If concerns around COVID push you towards exploring alternative warehouse solutions, Sprint Logistics offer facilities with storage space of over 60,000 sq feet, innovative stock control systems, and expansive network access.
Our strategically-located London warehousing solutions can accommodate over 6,000 standard pallets of stock – easily managed in real-time. We also have a twin facility in Peterborough and another in the Netherlands, providing easy access to the EU marketplace free from customs and border expenses.
Get in touch and learn more about how we can help your business.