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Warehouse storage even during normal times can be a bit of a struggle, but managing your supplies during a pandemic is a whole other issue.

The impact of the coronavirus is still being felt across many industries and communities, and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. And due to the increased demand for many products and goods across nearly every sector, warehouses have found themselves busier than ever during the outbreak, no matter what they deal in or how they manage their inventory.

 

Knowing all this, it can be difficult to find ways to manage inventory and other on-hand supplies during these hectic times – and even more difficult to know you’re managing them in a way that will keep your workers and customers safe.

While every warehouse will have different needs and different ways of managing their inventory, there’s a few things every warehouse has to store, and a few ways you can keep them safe during the coronavirus (or any similar pandemic)

 

Cleaning Supplies: Let’s start with the big one. Any given warehouse already has a number of sanitation, janitorial, and cleaning supplies on hand, but right now the proper use and distribution of these supplies are critical. The right approach to storing cleaning supplies is two-fold: they need to be kept within reach of the workers that need them, while also being safely stored in bulk to prevent contamination or spillage. Make sure your workers have access to things like paper towels and hand sanitizer at each of their workstations, and keep the real heavy-duty stuff like bleach and other chemicals safely stored in lockers or behind security partitions to prevent spillage or cross-contamination.

 

Hand Tools – RFID Scanners, etc: Warehouse workers tend to need to share a lot of equipment through the day, and as a result a lot of these items will be touched by different staff members during different shifts. Even if nobody on your team has tested positive for COVID-19, extra precautions should be taken with any shared hand tools. Set up a new storage area for shared items far away from the shop floor to prevent accidental contact or contamination, make sure everything is wiped down after every use, even if your team is wearing gloves, and try to keep them on sterile shelving to help curb any germs that may be lingering on them after use.

 

Electronics: Similarly, a lot of electronics will undergo similar levels of high touch and pass-arounds during a workday. If your warehouse uses tablets, laptops, phones, or other devices, try to limit their access – keep them inside your in-plant office and avoid taking them onto the floor to minimize contact, and ensure they’re wiped down every day. This could also be a good chance to minimize exposure by keeping your office workers inside the office during their shift and avoiding contact with the rest of the staff to help encourage social distancing.

 

Personal effects: Even in these scaled-back times, your workers will still need to bring in personal effects such as jackets, lunches, and the like. Make sure each of your workers are given individual equipment lockers, and try to encourage social distancing in the locker room by allowing one or two workers in there at a time, as well as making sure everyone waiting to get in is standing the recommended six feet apart.

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