Top Tips for Safety in your Warehouse during Covid-19
While the world attempts to settle into its ‘new normal’, employers are now having to re-think the way they run their businesses, especially large work environments with hundreds of employees such as Warehouses. While they may be keen to get back into the swing of things, there are some new rules and regulations they need to incorporate into the daily routine. Being an employer means you have a duty to your staff to keep them safe and protected while at work. You MUST always carefully assess risk levels.
Managing the RiskThere are some basic ground rules that you need to lay and most importantly enforce upon your staff. These key pointers will be your foundation for succeeding in the fight against Covid-19.
- Increase the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning.
- Keep staff 1 metre plus apart where possible.
- Install protective screens to keep staff separated.
- Consider which members of staff are essential and required to be on site. For example, any office staff should work from home if possible.
- Any vulnerable workers should be allowed to work from home where possible.
- If there are work activities where social distancing rules cannot be followed in full, employers must consider if that task is essential for the company to operate.
- Reduce the amount of time people interact with each other during the day – using ‘fixed teams or partnering’ is beneficial to keeping interaction in small groups.
Travelling to and from Work
It is crucial to take into consideration how each member of staff will be arriving and departing from the place of work, you need to help them make this process as safe as possible.
- Staggering out starting and finishing times will be a massive help in reducing overcrowding and maintaining a calm and effective system.
- Providing additional parking facilities such as bike racks and shelters will be hugely beneficial in encouraging employees to try other methods of transport e.g. Cycling, therefore helping them to avoid taking public transport.
- If possible, increase the number of entry points to the site or building, this will massively reduce congestion during peak times.
- Use high visibility markings to create one-way systems at entry and exit routes.
Movement within the Workplace
As an employer it is your responsibility to encourage your staff to continue to social distance from each other throughout the day, the last thing you will want is an outbreak of the virus! To prevent this from happening, consider these key points:
- Discourage non-essential travel to any other departments or areas of the site, unless it is necessary.
- Encourage your staff to communicate with each other through radios and telephones, this will reduce face to face interaction.
- Clean communication equipment between uses to prevent cross-contamination.
Creating a Safe Work Environment
Before allowing your employees to come back into work you need to create a safe environment for them to work in. This will mean rearranging any current layouts and creating one-way systems that will abide by social distancing rules.
- Review your current layouts such as workstation setups or work processes where staff would normally be grouped close together.
- A good way to encourage social distancing is to mark out areas with tape or paint to help workers identify where they need to keep a 2m distance.
- If you are unable to move workstations apart, it is important that you find an alternative such as installing screens. This will help to keep employees separated and safe while they work.
Common and Break Areas
When it comes to common and break areas it is important to make sure that you have a safe but calm area for your staff to relax and eat their lunch, without the worry of being in a packed room. Here are some tips:
- Spread out break times amongst your staff, this help reduce pressure on break rooms and canteens.
- Creating outdoor areas where staff can spend their break would also be a suitable way to reduce congestion in communal break areas.
- You must install protective screening for staff in reception areas where face to face interaction is constant.
Warehouses are one of the biggest employers in the UK, which is why at worXmart we are working hard to provide your businesses with all the equipment and cleaning products that you need to keep your staff safe during Covid-19.