Working in cold weather can affect employees in any job, especially while working in a warehouse, there are many safety concerns to keep in mind. As the months start to get colder, it can be important to make sure your warehouse is capable of handling the cooler temperatures and continues to be safe for your workers. Not only could your employees slow down on productivity, but it could also put your whole building in jeopardy.
As it gets colder out, there are many things to check on throughout your warehouse to make sure the cold weather won’t affect your employees. Both your machinery, shelving, and employees could be put in danger if you are not prepared for the lower temperatures. Thankfully, there are precautions you can take to help against these outcomes.
Employees Come First
It is important to ensure your employees are taking the proper steps to keep safe and help the cold not affect their work. To do this, you can make sure they have the proper know-how on how to dress and take care of themselves through their shifts.
Proper dress wear can simply mean multiple layers of clothes, coats, wool socks, non-slip and waterproof shoes, hats, and gloves. These items can help workers keep warm while also not slipping on any ice or water that is dragged into the warehouse. If these measures are not taken, your employees could be at risk of hypothermia, frostbite, and overall unhappiness while working.
Within your warehouse, you can keep the break rooms or other specific rooms heated so they have somewhere warm to go while on break. This can offer a great opportunity for them to regain some energy and feel better about going back to work.
Preparing Your Warehouse
Wherever there are doors into the warehouse, it is safe to assume that there will be slush and water pooling inside the building. To help against any slips or harm to machinery, placemats to soak up the sludge or make sure your workers are wearing non-slip shoes.
The cold can also affect your machinery. If some machines have metal handles or bars out in the open, cover them with a towel or other cloth to ensure they are not freezing over somehow.
Additionally, if your warehouse has windows, making sure they are secured closed and that they have thermal curtains on them can make sure cold air doesn’t get in and the warm air doesn’t get out. This can also be said about any doors that are opening and closing repeatedly. If doors have to be open, make sure they are only opened when necessary and that there is a cover on the bottom to cover the gap between the floor and the door.
When it comes to your shelving and pallet systems, if you are using anything like plastic or wood, it can be important to assess them regularly. Plastic pallet racking could be a danger in very cold or hot weather. You may also want to get cab covers for your forklifts. This can help fight against the cold air for the workers inside.
There are many things to look out for when it comes to the colder months. It is important to make sure your warehouse and workers are prepared so the jobs being done don’t falter in the end.