When the U.S. accepted that COVID-19 wasn't a fly-by-night situation, thousands of American workers hunkered down and transitioned to work-from-home arrangements. Unfortunately, warehouse workers and manufacturers didn't have this luxury. Essential workers had to quickly adapt and continue trudging along, while some factories suspended operations.
Today, we've all reached a point where we have either already returned or are eyeing the transition. No matter what, it's clear that changes must be made to practices. In particular, there are several steps warehouses can take to improve warehouse packing procedures amid COVID-19. The team at Frank Lowe has compiled a few best practices and procedures for warehouse workers to create a safe and productive environment.
Reduce Product Handling to Limit Exposure
Even before COVID-19, warehouses systematically worked to reduce the number of people and touches required to complete a process. Now, however, reduced human interaction isn't just a nice-to-have, it is turning into a must-have. Failure to do so could result in your entire workforce contracting and spreading the coronavirus.
When you can limit the number of touches involved in a process, it means less personal contact, which reduces the number of opportunities for the coronavirus to be spread. And if your packaging process involves more than one person, it makes sense to simplify it. This is often easier said than done — when you consider using kraft paper, cardboard, bubble wrap, perforated foam rolls, or other traditional methods of packaging.
Fortunately, Frank Lowe's new WOW Pads are simple, highly-effective, and easy to apply. Designed with an adhesive backing, you only need to peel the protective backing and apply it to the product for superior protection throughout shipping and storage. WOW Pads are the perfect protective packaging solution for powder-coated products, finished metal, fences, railings, awnings, doors, windows, and any other delicate metal or component that needs protection.
Disinfect Regularly & Understand Your Warehouse
The coronavirus can survive on many surfaces for hours. Because of this, it's just a good practice to disinfect surfaces and whatever other items you can on a regular basis. Items like handheld order devices, scanners, and others should be constantly disinfected.
All employees should especially pay attention to what comes into your facility, how long it has been in storage, and who touches it. Strategically looking at incoming and outcoming packages through this lens can inform the next best steps and help prevent the spread of the virus.
Strategically Schedule Employees
As the warehouse owner or facility manager, it's important to make sure you limit or control the number of people in your warehouse at a single time. You can consider scheduling shifts into shorter stints to ensure less staff in the warehouse at the same time.
If you are maintaining standard order volume, this could mean either more intense workloads or just accepting your overall hourly output may be reduced. In either case, this strategy can help you keep your warehouse open while still working to ensure your people are as safe as possible.
Personal Protective Equipment
All warehouses should take the time to reevaluate personal protective equipment policies. While items like hard hats may have always been a part of your PPE repertoire, you should also consider adding disposable gloves, face masks, face shields, and ear savers for face masks.
Consider Requiring Disposable Gloves
This step is relatively straightforward. It may be a good practice to require all of your packers, pickers, and staff to use disposable gloves when they are on the floor. These gloves shouldn't include woolen ones from home or protective gear shared by the team. It's critical you implement disposable gloves. Every pair of gloves should only be used by a single person and then discarded at the end of the shift — at a minimum.
Cloth Face Masks
The CDC suggests everyone over the age of two wear cloth face masks whenever in a public place and will encounter other people. Face masks help prevent the wearer from spreading the disease. These masks help contain small droplets that may come out of the wearer's mouth or nose when talking, sneezing, or coughing.
If someone has COVID-19 and isn't showing symptoms, the face mask greatly reduces their likelihood of spreading it to others. On the other hand, cloth face masks can offer protection to the wearer from larger droplets that may be transmitted by others.
One of the key problems associated with all-day wear of face masks are the painful lesions that form behind the ear. When worn for extended periods, the cord or string on the face mask creates significant friction that causes painful lesions.
One way to increase the comfort of face masks and reduce the likelihood of ear lesions is with ear savers. Frank Lowe began manufacturing face mask ear savers based on a design reviewed by the FDA, NIH, and VA for clinical use. of a face mask creates
Another way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus is with protective face shields. While face masks are designed to cover the mouth and nose area, face shields provide full-face protection. These clear personal protective devices are believed by many infectious disease experts to be the premier solution to preventing the spread of the disease.
In addition to being more durable than face masks, face shields protect the wearer's eyes and prevent them from touching their face, which is a key method of transmission. Face shields also allow warehouse workers to communicate verbally and nonverbally — both of which can be hindered by face masks.
Because they are more comfortable, face shields are more likely to be worn all shift by a worker. Most importantly, face shields are readily available; while face masks have been in shortage since the beginning of the pandemic.
Learn more about Frank Lowe's face shields and the benefits they offer.
Contact Frank Lowe
As we all look to return to some level of normalcy, it's important we do so with careful consideration. Simply put, everything has changed, and it's up to each of us to adjust and move forward. Contact Frank Lowe today to learn more about our PPE products, innovative WOW Pads, or any of the other services we offer, don't hesitate to reach out to Frank Lowe today.