Preparing a Safe Workplace for COVID-19 | Quality Material Handling, Inc.
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Have you updated the safety policies for your warehouse

It has been a year since the lockdown first began in the US due to COVID-19. Since then, we have undergone so many changes in how we carry out our daily activities such as education, health and exercise, family gatherings and how we work. It is important to prepare your workplace for COVID-19. Below are some recommendations on how you can prepare and maintain a safe facility. 

As a response to COVID-19 all business that returned to work should have updated their business strategies to include conducting safety checks, identifying hazards, and implementing new policies for social distancing depending to their state standards. Early on the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) set safety requirements for the workplace to minimize preventable injury and death in the workplace. Regarding warehouse safety during COVID-19, OSHA issued recommendations as well as descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards. These recommendations were intended to help employers provida safe and healthy workplace. The full Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 can be found here 

As an employer, it is important to be stay up to date with safety standards and be able to identify and address any potential hazards in the warehouse to maximize safety for the employees. The CDC presented an Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers Responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019 which include the below recommendations:

  • Conduct daily health checks. 
  • Conduct a hazard assessment of the workplace. 
  • Encourage employees to wear face coverings in the workplace, if appropriate. 
  • Implement policies and practices for social distancing.   
  • Improve the building ventilation system.
  • Perform routine cleaning and disinfection.
  • Communicate workplace policies clearly, frequently and via multiple methods.
  • Provide trainings on safe work practices with focus on response to COVID-19

The following are some of the most important safety practices to consider implementing for a safer warehouse and maximum employee safety. 


Maintaining a Safe and Healthy Facility


Conduct Daily Health Checks: Conducting daily health checks for all employees is an important first step prior to the beginning of the work day as a preventative action. This also helps maintain a healthy work environment for everyone entering the facility, including other staff members and customers.  

As a response to COVID-19, employers should actively encourage sick employees to stay home and ensure that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies. 


Social Distancing  According to the Guideline from the CDC, a company should establish policies and practices for social distancing including altering of workspaces to help workers and customers maintain social distancing. The company focus should be on finding ways on how to minimize contact among workers, clients, and customersBarriers can be used to physically separate employees from each other and from customers, when possible. Here are some products that businesses can use to help maintain social distancing: 

Separation barriersThese helps increase physical space between employees at the worksite. They are mobile to move with the employee as needed. There are ideal  Contact us to find out how you can get Separation Barriers for your warehouse.  

Driver Cages: These are physical barriers, such as partitions, that help maintain social distancing. Driver cages are a simple, cost effective way of controlling access to your warehouse and/or prevent visiting personnel from unknowingly walking into active forklift traffic area. Many variations available to ensure complete safety without hindering operations. We will make driver cages customized for your warehouse. Contact us for more info.

Equipment Maintenance – Performing maintenance on equipment and machines is not something to be overlooked or put off. All equipment should regularly undergo maintenance and be properly cleansed to ensure it is ready for upcoming jobs. Tools, especially those that are shared between employees, should be sanitized at the end of each use. 

If damages occur to any of your equipment, it should be reported immediately—even if it is only a minor impairment. A simple dent in a racking upright could end in a collapsed racking system later if it is not taken care of. Replace your damaged equipment as soon as possible to escape any further harm to your materials or employees. Find out how to protect your pallet uprights

Ensure your warehouse is up to code – Does your building have a proper fire suppression and ventilation system? Per the CDC, companies should ensure ventilation systems operate properly and provide acceptable indoor air quality for the current occupancy level for each space. If you are working with hazardous materials the building needs to be able to maintain clean breathing air and avoid any fire danger through proper storage and ventilation of materials.  If you’re installing a new pallet racking system that needs high pile storage permits , our team can provide expert knowledge and design your warehouse to be up to code. 
Use Facility Signs – Signs are an effective way to instruct or direct employees and/or visitors in the warehouse. With the new concerns and updates that have emerged from COVID19, signs are and easy way to help implement new policies and safety practices. Use signs, tape marks, or other visual cues such as decals to indicate where to stand when physical barriers are not possible. Use signs as reminders to sanitize and cleanse the facility, equipment, work areas and wash the hands regularly.   
Maintain a clean workplace – Your warehouse should have clear aisles and clean floors. Cleaning your warehouse should be a daily routine in your facility. Employers should give employees, customers, and visitors what they need to clean their hands, workspaces, and equipment.
It is the responsibility of the business to ensure that they are doing their part to protect their employees. These suggestions aim to help businesses plan and prepare a safe and healthy workplace. Businesses should ensure they are up to date with the latest health and safety standards per their region. For more information on how you can make your facility safe, especially as a response to Covid-19, check out the latest updates by the CDC 



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