Safeguard Your Warehouse Workforce


Coronavirus is presenting new challenges and opportunities for managing your warehouse and workforce. There’s a lot of uncertainty and employers are aggressively developing workforce strategies that prioritize the health and well-being of the workforce and their communities, while meeting supply chain demands.

Blue Horseshoe is sharing actionable ideas that help safeguard your teams and promote continuity within your warehouse. 

Split one-shift operations

If you have only one shift in your warehouse, consider splitting it into two shifts. For example, one group could work from 6:30 to 2:30. The other from 3:30 to 11:30. Each shift should have a different work team with no staffing crossover allowed.  

If someone on one shift is showing signs of illness, that entire workforce may have been exposed and need to go into self-quarantine. The second shift helps ensure workforce redundancy and business continuity.

Diligent housekeeping

Maintain an elevated cleaning schedule that pays close attention to handheld equipment, pack stations, clock-in stations, handles, and other frequently touched areas.

According to OSHA, use “Protection Agency (EPA)-approved disinfectant labels with claims against emerging viral pathogens. Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use of all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, PPE).

Add cleaning stations throughout the warehouse with hand sanitizer, wipes, tissues, no touch trash cans, and other supplies.  

Breaks between shifts & staggered breaks

Allow an hour between shifts to focus exclusively on housekeeping and cleaning. The next shift of workers will have the opportunity to start in a safer environment.

Stagger breaks and lunches so your teams can maintain social distancing and sanitize the area at the end of the break.

Switch to critical staffing

Every staff person that can work from home should work from home. This may include positions that function within the warehouse but are more behind the scenes like IT, reporting, and general admin.

Keep in mind that if your workforce strategies do impact your customers, tell them. Greater communication and managing expectations go a long way when there’s so much uncertainty.

For more resources on workplace health and safety guidance, check out the following:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

What are you doing to prioritize health and well-being while keeping your supply chain moving? Tell us using the form below and we’ll add your ideas to this post. And if you need help brainstorming options for your business, please reach out.

As the Executive VP of Strategy, Jeff Cook helps top level executives optimize their supply chain strategy to best meet their specific business needs. His expertise includes technology & equipment selection, network and operations design, inventory optimization, ERP/WMS implementation, organizational change management, and supply chain automation solutions.

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