• Mariela Gagnon

Covid-19 and its Impact on Warehouses

During these crazy times we have many companies that are choosing to let their employees work from home, warehouses however, are having a hard time keeping up with the demand for groceries and other essential products. So how are warehouses handling the Covid-19 crisis?

Warehouses should be taking measures such as staggering employee lunch breaks, implementing new sanitizing protocols, having outdoor meetings, incorporating new Social Distancing rules and Suspension of shipments for non-essential to its warehouse. Warehouse employees are scared to go to work in fear of Covid-19. The problem is not all warehouses and retailers are following Covid-19 response. Several warehouses and retailers are under scrutiny of following COVID-19 response. This includes Amazon, Instacart, Shipt, Target and Whole Foods; to name a few well-known brands.

According to the SHIFT project a joint project of UC Berkeley and UCSF, warehouses should be under scrutiny. They found that only 41% warehouse workers reported changes in the warehouse such as cleaning procedures. This puts our warehouse workers at high risk. No wonder we have workers sewing their employers. They are working in environments that put them at high risk. It is critical to keep our front-line workers safe during these hard times.

Leaders in warehouse transition to COVID safe incorporate a number of strategies to mitigate risk and insure against large volume employee sickness that could severely impact site productivity.

1) Invest in automated temperature scan tools, ideally with a set of health screen questions.

2) Assess any areas or tools used by more than one person. Add hand sanitizer stations or implement more frequent cleaning for those areas of higher transmission risk.

3) Clearly communicate and structure the environment to ensure social distancing. Marking floor areas, staggering lunches, and limiting contact circles can all help reduce impact.

4) Not only provide Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), but provide training on how to use it correctly.

Ultimately, taking action in protecting your staff may take a little time to get right, but when implemented should result in less sick days from not only COVID, but flus and other viral illnesses as well. Implementing COVID mitigations is a great way to protect your staff, your productivity, and your bottom line.


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