Covid-19 Recovery: How to keep the warehouse clean and safe

Covid-19 Recovery: How to keep the warehouse clean and safe

22 July 2020

  • corona virus infection

 

UKWA, the UK Warehousing Association has highlighted that provided certain guidelines are followed, workers in the warehouse can stay safe and keep the wheels of commerce moving.

Here are some ways you can keep your warehouse a safe place to work:

Isolation policies

Warehouses need a strict self isolation policy, whereby if a colleague reports feeling unwell, or has any Covid-19 symptoms, they follow current government guidelines (https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus) . Although physically picking a product off a shelf and packing it requires a worker in the warehouse, other administrative functions can still be done by someone working from home. For instance, producing picking lists or coordinating operations. Using technology such as a warehouse management system (WMS) it is possible to further help those still working in the warehouse, by introducing zone picking to support social distancing.

Keeping clean

All staff need to follow hygiene recommendations such as washing hands upon entry to and exit from facilities. Keep doors and handles sanitised with alcohol-based cleaners and keep all equipment as sterile as possible.

Warehouse cleaning routines should be enhanced, to ensure that RDTs and mobile devices like voice picking units are disinfected. Anything that gets touched by anyone working needs to be cleaned with appropriate disinfectant throughout the day.

Getting to and from work can be an issue and where possible, adapt working times to allow non-drivers to possibly walk or cycle if they usually use public transport. Consider having more frequent but shorter shifts to get through the day’s order pool. Alternatively, consider operating some private transportation to allow essential workers to get in safely.

By extending working hours it may be possible to reduce the numbers of workers on site at any one time, although further consideration to transportation options will be needed.

Recommendations for cleaning warehouse tech

Millions of warehouse workers use ruggedised and wearable mobile devices to carry out routine tasks in the warehouse – picking guns and RDTs, voice headsets, mobile printers and scanners. What is the best way to keep them clean and avoid the risks of spreading Coronavirus among supply chain key workers?

Here are some recent recommendations issued by Indigo’s partner, Honeywell, for device cleaning and disinfecting mobile computers (non-healthcare models) for employee health and safety:

  1. Follow your organisation’s own hygiene or infection-control standards and the instructions for use provided by the disinfectant manufacturer. Then using an approved pre-moistened disinfecting wipe or cleaning solution applied to a clean or sterile cloth, wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of the product. Do not use bleach.

2.     Before cleaning, do the following:

  • Turn off the computer.
  • Ensure the battery is properly installed to prevent liquid from entering the device.
  • Use a pre-moistened disinfectant wipe, or if using a liquid solution, apply the approved cleaning solution to a sterile cloth. Wring out any excess liquid.
  • Wipe all surfaces of the device with the moistened cloth following the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
  • Do not allow any abrasive material to touch surfaces like scanner windows or camera lenses.
  • Do not allow excess liquid to pool on the device. Touchscreens, scanner and camera windows, buttons, and connector areas require the most attention to prevent liquid from entering the device.
  • Keep a dry sterile cloth ready to dry the device after cleaning.
  • Use a cotton-tipped swab to clean between buttons and in other recessed areas of the device.
  • Cradle contacts should be cleaned with a cotton-tipped swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol to provide the ideal charger-to-battery contact.
  • Allow device computers to completely air dry before turning on the power and/or placing it in a charger.
  • Follow all cleaning solution and device manufacturers’ instructions for use including all warnings and precautions.
  • For more detailed information about device cleaning visit: https://www.honeywellaidc.com/blog/2020/march/honeywell-device-cleaning-and-disinfectin-guide-for-mobile-computers