Everyone has been affected by the coronavirus to some extent. Many businesses had to close temporarily and some have even shut down forever.
The coronavirus has affected warehouses too. It’s changed how warehouses operate and how warehouse employees interact with each other.
In this blog post, we’ll provide guidance for warehouse owners and the people who work in them on how to deal with the COVID-19 emergency.
Employees should keep two metres apart
Employees should comply with social distancing guidelines as much as possible. This means keeping a distance of at least two meters away from other people. If two metres is not possible, then employees should keep at least one metre away from each other while using risk mitigation
Employees should wear face masks
The coronavirus spreads mainly through the air. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, it causes up to 3,000 droplets to enter the air, which can infect someone else.
Given that the virus’s main mode of transmission is through the air, it makes sense therefore that face masks are a good form of protection. Face masks cover your mouth and nose, thus stopping the virus from entering your body. All warehouse employees should therefore wear face masks.
Employees should wear gloves
As well as face masks, warehouse workers should also wear gloves. It’s best to wear gloves because otherwise, people can contract the virus by touching contaminated surfaces.
Ideally, the gloves should be made of rubber, latex or PVC. Make sure the gloves are good quality so they don’t rip while you’re using them. Also, keep in mind that gloves should be disposable – your workers will need to throw them away after each use.
Make sure the warehouse has a good supply of fresh air
Ventilation into the warehouse should be increased as much as possible to ensure a supply of fresh air. This means keeping doors and windows open if possible and increasing the ventilation rate to a high setting.
Keep the warehouse clean
it’s important to keep the workplace clean to avoid people catching the virus by touching contaminated surfaces. Make sure that the warehouse is cleaned regularly, especially objects that are touched frequently, such as door handles.
Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment
All businesses, including warehouses, should carry out an assessment that addresses the risks of the coronavirus. Creating a risk assessment is not about creating a huge amount of paperwork. Rather, it’s about identifying measures to control the risks in the workplace.
Send sick workers home
Any employee who shows the signs of the coronavirus should immediately be sent home. One of the main early signs of infection is fever, so it might make sense to check the temperature of each employee with a non-contact thermometer before allowing them in the building.
Need more info?
For more guidance on how to protect your warehouse from the coronavirus, go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/factories-plants-and-warehouses#factories-2-4.