How To Cope With Winter In Your Warehouse
A cold-storage facility is prepared for frigid conditions because both building and personnel are equipped to handle extreme cold. But a regular warehouse sometimes can be caught off guard when a freak cold snap turns the workplace into a sub-zero freezer. Warehouse management teams need to be aware of the potential problems that can happen when winter affects their warehouse.
Climate Control Has To Be Planned
Extreme changes in temperature and humidity affect most stored goods to a certain extent. They certainly affect the people who must work in those conditions. Planning the layout of the warehouse to maximize airflow, insulating the building to even out temperature shifts, sealing door openings adequately, and monitoring temperature maintenance are all good ideas.
A high-volume, low-speed fan can move air to form a barrier at doors that must stay open in cold weather. They can also re-distribute warmer air from the ceiling back down to the floor. When synced with temperature sensors, these can automatically help prevent extreme temperature changes in the warehouse. Storing temperature-sensitive inventory in the middle of the warehouse and off the ground helps keep these items stable because the surrounding inventory acts as insulation.
When unusually cold weather is predicted, ask staff to look for potential trouble spots like uninsulated pipes, plumbing leaks, and slow drains. Make sure gutters are clear and think through worst-case scenarios.
Weather Delays Have To Be Anticipated
The effects of winter storms cause havoc in shipping, both inbound and outbound. Being able to see exactly where your inventory is, what is happening with your vendors, and precise status tracking for shipments gives you the accuracy to analyze and act appropriately.
At the warehouse itself, make sure that stocks of winter safety materials are easily accessible. Snow shovels, de-icers, and other snow removal items should be by entrances and used to keep walkways and ramps safe. Exposed metal handles and rails may need coverings to prevent injuries. First aid stations and hot drinks should be available for workers so they can quickly address problems and keep warm.
Staff Need To Be Prepared
Both the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety and the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration have excellent resources to make sure workers are prepared for working in extreme cold. Using a professional warehouse management software platform ensures that the workplace runs optimally so winter weather doesn’t need to shut your warehouse down.