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Whether you’re trying to keep your warehouse safe in these days of quarantine, or just trying to prevent illness from affecting your staff even after things get back to ‘normal’ (whatever that might be), planning for the health of your warehouse staff is more important than ever.

Even after the days of quarantine come to an end and things start to get back to normal, the question arises – what is normal anymore? Once work resumes, the odds are good that your warehouse will no longer be able to do things exactly like you used to, and special thought will need to be given to health and safety concerns both on the shop floor and elsewhere throughout the warehouse.

No matter how your business has been affected by the recent pandemics and quarantines, there’s steps every warehouse can take into the future to maintain the health of every worker:


Proper distancing: While the concept of ‘social distancing’ was hard to get used to for a lot of us, a lot of experts say it’s here to stay, and will have a huge impact on the way we all live and work. Warehouses, in particular, will continue to be affected by the need to stay a minimum safe distance from other people, no matter how healthy they may appear to be. Adapt your floor plans and daily operations to encourage your team to stay a minimum healthy distance from one another during routine work, and make sure to revise your floor plans and workflows as needed to keep this distance.


Cleaning of shared equipment: Even above and beyond the inventory and packages coming in and out of the warehouse, there’s a lot of equipment inside the warehouse that gets touched by multiple members of your team. This can include handheld devices like RFID scanners, computer equipment, tablets, and various surfaces inside your warehouse offices – don’t forget that germs can linger even on things like keyboards and countertops, too.


Safe storage of personal items: Your workers will always have things they bring into work with them, such as coats, lunchboxes, and other personal items they may need throughout the day. While encouraging the routine cleaning of their personal effects can go a long way to help, you should also provide personal equipment lockers to keep your team’s personal belongings separated and without coming into contact with one another.


Cleaning of incoming and outgoing items: Finally, your products themselves may need to be disinfected depending on how many people they come into contact with, the nature of the product itself, and where they may be going. Keep disinfectant supplies around as appropriate (including wipes and sprays as needed), and when possible try to use germ-resistant shelving or germ resistant plastic shelving in the shipping/receiving area to prevent the further spread of germs either within your warehouse or on the way to your customers.


Further steps will surely be required down the road, but by following these simple safety guidelines, you can help better protect your staff and customers from infection, no matter what kind of health crises you may or may not face in the future.

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