Since warehouses have simple designs, they aren’t made to protect against cold. As a result, working in the winter months can cause damage. With doors opening and closing throughout the day, snow, ice, and cold winds enter. Letting snow inside your warehouse can create a slippery environment, potentially injuring employees or damaging equipment. Fortunately, you can take steps to make your warehouse safer in these four ways.
Educate Your Team
Be sure your employees know how to stay warm while performing work duties. To avoid suffering from frostbite or hypothermia, stress the importance of wearing proper attire. Examples include layered clothing, insulated coats, hats, thick socks, waterproof boots with traction, and heavy, no-slip gloves. Ask your employees to keep additional clothing on hand to change into if they get wet or cold. Remind your staff to properly stretch before working and use correct lifting techniques. Otherwise, their muscles and joints can tighten, leading to strains, pulls, and tears. Encourage your team members to drink plenty of water to avoid becoming dehydrated.
Prepare Your Equipment
Get your equipment ready to handle the extreme cold. For instance, cover metal handles and bars. Create areas for employees to take breaks and warm up. Purchase forklift cab covers to protect workers from the cold and potential falling items. Purchase industrial heaters to warm areas that need it most.
Make Physical Changes
Determine which physical changes should be made to your warehouse. For instance, observe the overall organization of your facility. Be sure products are protected from freezing temperatures so you can distribute them in proper working order. Otherwise, you may face weather-related damages and an increased risk of injury. Consider installing windows or skylights to increase the natural light and heat generated by the sun. This reduces costs for lighting fixtures and energy creation. Be sure your dock doors and levelers are properly sealed.
Service Your Equipment
Make sure your equipment is in proper working order. For instance, service your HVAC system(s) to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. Be sure the filters are checked and/or replaced. If your warehouse expanded or had changes in configuration, you might want to look into upgrades and/or reassignment of units. Check how well heat is being generated. Fix damaged equipment before extreme weather prevents you from doing so, potentially resulting in lost inventory. Invest in high-volume, low-speed (HVLS) fans that combine warm and cold air to create a more consistent temperature in your warehouse. Circulating warmth to the floor can save hundreds or thousands of dollars each month. Use air curtains or high-speed doors to separate areas not often used to retain heat where it’s most needed. Complete an emission test for your lift truck. Have the engine and fuel supply exhaust adjusted and serviced to minimize carbon dioxide impact.
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