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Ever since COVID-19 reared its ugly head in America, “social distancing” has been a term on everyone’s mind.

And with as difficult as it can be out in public (despite the clear floor markings everywhere), it can be even tougher while working in warehouses. Even the most well-laid-out warehouse can get a little crowded sometimes, and finding a balance between staying productive and keeping your workers safe can be a tricky situation.

The aisleway is perhaps the area most guilty of this. Aisleways are one of the most cramped parts of the warehouse on a good day, and they can lead to a lot of traffic issues as well as difficulties with social distancing throughout the facility. So, what can you do?

 

Social Distancing Tips for Cramped Warehouse Aisles

When it comes to keeping your warehouse aisles safe, one of the biggest obstacles is spacing. In many cases, during our rush to fit as many pallet racks in as possible to hold the largest amount of inventory, we don’t take into consideration how much room we have between them. Where possible, inch your pallet racks further towards the walls to help open up a little (pardon the pun) breathing room and let your workers pass each other at a safer distance.

 

Of course, all the aisle space in the world isn’t going to be much help if you have too many workers in a given aisle. As your picking methods permit, limit the number of workers in an aisle at one time – keep a close eye on how many workers can be in a given space at once, and make the rest of them wait until someone returns to finish their picking. It might not impact your picking times as much as you’re expecting, and it can do wonders for keeping your workers safer.

 

Finally, use markers to indicate where everyone should stand. We talked about these earlier, but hopefully your workers will adapt to them better than the confused person in front of you in line at the store. Measure your warehouse shelves and add safety markers – try to stick with the recommended 6 feet, but try to place them at helpful enough intervals that your team can still safely grab the items they’re after. That’s the point of these shelves after all, right?

With a little patience and planning, you can make sure your warehouse is adhering to whatever safety standards that OSHA or the CDC may recommend, while staying just as productive as possible.

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