The COVID-19 virus is presenting a challenge to businesses all over the world, including the manufacturing and warehousing industries. As a warehouse manager, it is vital that you educate your workers about COVID and train them in proper personal hygiene as well as cleaning and disinfecting procedures. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides a free guide to assist you in this task. The manufacturing and warehousing industries are critical components of our country’s supply chain, so put steps in place to maintain normal business operations.
Employees who trust that their employer provides a safe workplace are more likely to show up for work during a pandemic. Educate your workers regarding OSHA standards during the pandemic. Make sure your employees know which warehouse activities put them at risk for infection. Discuss the options for working remotely if possible, and talk about social distancing strategies. Teach hygiene and disinfection procedures, and review the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) with employees. Do not forget to include information regarding what medical services are available to your employees in the event of an exposure. All warehouse personal must understand:
- Social distancing
- How to cover coughs and sneezes
- Hand hygiene
- How to clean surfaces frequently
You must provide worker training on infection controls, such as avoiding close contact. Supplies such as soap, water, tissues, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and cleaning agents must be on hand, and your team must receive education regarding the proper use of these items. You can take an additional step by supplying your organization with PPE, such as gloves, face shields and respirators. Use visual and verbal reminders to improve compliance. Handwashing posters are another great reminder for employees. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers many visual aids to help you with this task.
If possible, modify your warehouse or change your work practices to provide additional COVID protection for your employees and clients. You might consider the use of physical barriers such as clear plastic sneeze guards or you might conduct business differently. Improve the ventilation in the warehouse by using high-efficiency air filters and increase ventilation rates. Make sure that you clean surfaces and equipment on a regular schedule following government guidelines. Protect your workers when cleaning too. OSHA provides a fact sheet with instructions for your employees who use chemical cleaning products.
Guidance for the State of Maryland
If you manage a warehouse in the state of Maryland, there are state-specific guidelines that can assist you in keeping your employees protected and your facility clean. The Maryland Chamber of Commerce provides resources for warehouse operators within the state. As a warehouse operator in Maryland, you may also find help from Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH).
On-Demand Warehouse Staffing Solutions
If you have staffing needs for your warehouse, look into the talent that SIS can offer your company. The staffing team at SIS can provide your warehouse with employees you can count on to help you meet your production goals.