Warehouse managers and owners have a lot on their plates these days. The coronavirus pandemic has upended business as usual throughout the supply chain industry. Companies of all sizes must now go to great lengths to protect their workers from the spread of infectious disease, including the distribution of personal protective equipment, enforcing social distancing, screening for symptoms and wiping down commonly used surfaces. The disease known as COVID-19 spreads through the air, so companies need to increase ventilation to improve air quality and eliminate germs from the air.
As facilities adjust to their new normal, some may overlook an essential component of worker safety–the floors of the warehouse. The floors tend to fill up with all kinds of dirt and debris that can make it harder to breathe on the job. Workers shouldn’t have to worry about breathing in all kinds of potentially dangerous particles and disease-causing bacteria as they go about their day.
Keeping the floors clean is about maintaining social distancing, which is crucial in the fight against COVID-19. With fewer obstacles lying around, your team can easily keep their distance from each other.
Use these tips to keep your floors clean as the pandemic rages on.
Get Packages and Containers Off the Ground
Keeping the floors clean can be next to impossible when there are dozens of packages and containers lying around. That’s why it’s best to keep these items off the ground so workers can easily clean underneath. Most facilities will use stack racks to sort their merchandise on the shelf. Air can easily pass under the bottom of the shelf for additional ventilation.
Getting products off the ground isn’t doing you or your workers any favors. Employees often have to move these packages and boxes by hand which can increase the spread of disease. With stack racks, the worker can use a lift truck to quickly move the container in a matter of minutes without having to touch the container by hand.
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Package in Bulk
Shipping in bulk is an easy way to free up additional space around your warehouse. You will have more room for goods on the shelf, thus leaving precious floor space free and clear. Use a food grade IBC tote to move large quantities of goods in less time. You won’t need to devote as much space to your goods, giving your team more room to move around.
Redesign the Layout
Nothing affects the floors of your warehouse like the overall layout of the space. How you choose to set up the interior can affect overall air quality. Ideally, the air should be able to move easily throughout the space. Use industrial wire baskets to let the air pass through the containers and increase ventilation. If the air gets trapped in certain areas, your employees will be more likely to contract the virus when working in close settings with others. Wire baskets are designed for maximum ventilation for added safety. They keep the space open without putting individual products at risk.
Baskets can also increase efficiency during the picking process. Your employees will be able to see the contents of the package so they can find what they need in just a few minutes without having to open dozens of individual containers. Make sure your workers can navigate the space quickly and efficiently to speed up product retrieval times. Use this guide to learn more about the design and control of warehouse order picking.
Invest in a WMS
Using a warehouse management system (WMS) will help you better monitor goods as they move around your facility. Every item will be automatically logged in the system so you can track its location in real time. This makes it easier to locate missing items throughout the day. If a worker finds a package lying on the ground, they can quickly scan the label to find out where it belongs. With an automated warehouse system, you won’t have to worry as much about products going missing or winding up in strange places throughout the day.
Warehouses across the country are still trying to get used to the novel coronavirus. Use these tips to make sure you are keeping the floor free of debris that may come back to haunt you down the line.