How to Get Your Warehouse Ready for Winter
Warehouses are vast, open, and aerated spaces. Preparing all businesses and buildings for winter is vital to ensure everything carries on running smoothly and safely, no matter the weather.
However, with warehouses, this can be difficult due to their spacious nature. Yet contingency plans need to be in place to protect your building and workers and ensure everything to do with your business still runs smoothly.
There will likely also be a lot of machinery and tools to keep warm, which is imperative to keep functioning properly. Therefore, lighting, heat and additional safety measures will be required in warehouses over the winter months.
Warehouses are not insulated buildings. Heating is vital for both machinery and tools to continue working in cold weather, but also for the safety of everybody working inside.
- A workplace’s ambient temperature shouldn’t fall below 13°C
If conditions are too cold, workers can become ill or struggle to work. They will need to use more energy to stay warm, meaning particularly physical roles could be dangerous to carry out.
Read our guide on which portable heater to use in your workspace—something like the Master DC61 17kW Infrared Oil-Fired Heater would be ideal to use in a warehouse as it provides no air movement and can defrost machinery and pipelines. This means the heat is felt on the warehouse floor, rather than rising up to the ceiling and being wasted.
It also has safety features, making it ideal for a workplace.
Warehouses will need some level of lighting, given they’re indoors. However, with the winter months also comes darker external conditions.
Your warehouse may benefit from brighter lighting, as well as lighting on the general warehouse site which will help people arriving and leaving work. You are still responsible for anyone who is on your property outside of work hours.
Using electrical, battery-powered lighting is a good idea. This way, no fumes are given off, but they don’t require additional wires in the warehouse. This makes them a safe indoor option.
You’ll also require sufficient lighting if any work is carried out outside, such as if you’re taking deliveries.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is always required. However, it may have to be adapted to suit the colder conditions.
Larger sizes of reflective clothing may be needed to fit over jumpers and other warm clothing. Likewise, it is a good idea to wear hats under hard hats, and thick socks under boots and perhaps change to winter boots which are lined and waterproof too.
Non-slip gloves which are lined and warm will also be needed. This is especially relevant if hands will come into contact with metallic surfaces, which will be cold and could cause frostbite.
If your site is not responsible for providing PPE, encourage workers to adapt their clothing.
Before the worst of the weather conditions set in, it is a good idea to clean your warehouse both inside and out.
Clean floors using a hot pressure washer which will remove the most stubborn dirt, such as oil and grease. You will also be able to clean machinery and any outdoor flooring surfaces.
Check the roof for any damage and ensure all drains are clear for optimum water removal. Paths should be free from snow, dirt, and ice, especially when visibility isn’t as good. Read our guide on how to keep your site safe in winter for all outdoor tips.
5. Vehicle stability
In warehouses, any vehicles which also go outside will need an additional grip on potentially icy, wet conditions. Tyre chains and additional attachments on forklifts are two good ideas if these are relevant to your warehouse.
All drivers should also be well equipped with snow-clearing apparatus, additional warm clothing, and safety items such as a first aid kit and a phone. While it is unlikely that they will need this if just staying in the warehouse, any drivers who need to leave the warehouse to pick up or deliver goods will need to be ready before leaving the site.
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Thank you for reading our Speedy Services blog, we hope you found this guide on preparing your warehouse for winter useful.
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