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From food to pharmaceuticals and even sensitive electronic components, cold storage can be one of the most important roles a warehouse can serve – and one of the most difficult.

Cold storage carries with it a lot of risk, both to the products as well as to the environment and workers around them, and it can be tough to mitigate these risks while also managing an entire inventory.

Here’s a couple of the more common risks experienced in cold storage warehouse environments, and what you can do to mitigate them:


Common Risks of Cold Storage Warehouses


Injury from temperature or exposure

Above and beyond the challenges faced by the products and shelving being used in a cold storage environment, are the risks faced by the workers.

Exposure to the extreme temperatures needed to store many perishable goods can lead to discomfort, impaired physical performance, or a feeling of numbness in the hands and feet, not to mention a risk of hypothermia or frostbite in extreme situations.


The solution: Proper safety gear based upon the environment, as well as warming stations located directly near the cold environment so workers can reheat themselves to a safer temperature as needed, can do a lot to keep your teams safer than they were before.


Bacterial growth

In any environment with this much moisture, as well as any environment containing perishable goods, special care needs to be taken to make sure bacteria can’t flourish where they’re not wanted. While this might sound intimidating at first, a lot of bacterial growth can be inhibited by simple maintenance and preventative measures.


The solution: Simple cleaning and maintenance can go a long way in preventing bacteria. By keeping your freezer free and clean from spills or leaks, preventing damage to the door (and its associated seals), and maintaining a consistent temperature can make sure no unwelcome visitors try to make a home in your storage freezers.


Damaged shelves

The truth is, there’s a lot of shelves and storage equipment that can’t stand the constant exposure to extreme elements that the typical industrial freezer provides. If these shelves become bent, broken, or rusty due to the cold and moist environment inside an industrial freezer, they can lead to bacterial growth, product damage, or even collapsed shelves in extreme situations.


The solution: By using rust-resistant shelving such as green epoxy shelving, your shelves can be better equipped to support your goods and remain in better condition, even when used in extreme environments.

Heat exposure

This might sound a little ironic, given all the talk about cold storage, but the fact of the matter is this: if your goods need to be stored in cold environments, any prolonged exposure to temperatures higher than recommended can lead to damage or spoilage of the items in question.


The solution: Proper – and speedy – item handling can go a long way towards preventing the exposure of your products to undue environmental conditions. Make sure your loading docks and entrance doors all have proper sealant, keep your cold storage as close to the dock as possible, and make sure all your staff have been trained up on the proper handling and transport of these items. If they can get to their destination as quickly and as safely as possible, they’ll be all set.

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