The UK warehousing sector continues to enjoy a boom in demand as e-commerce continues to drive the need for more and more storage despite Brexit fears.
Resulting in 62% of overall demand during the second quarter of 2019, internet-only retail companies accounted for almost half of all take-up during this period. However, warning bells are beginning to ring in the logistics sector as more and more warehousing space is required for the storage and distribution of foodstuffs and medical equipment as the UK continues to stockpile in case of a no-deal Brexit.
Midland Pallet Trucks, a West Midlands-based provider of hand pallet trucks, lift platforms, moving skates, and a wide range of other materials handling equipment, believes that this trend for online shopping and to the door delivery of non-perishable items isn’t about to change any time soon, but wants to draw attention to the additional strain placed on warehouse workers set the task of storing, weighing and labelling consignments in and industry experiencing levels of high demand.
“Many warehousing managers and businesses are all too aware of the shortage of suitable warehousing space, and the predictions for a no-deal Brexit are only serving to exacerbate the pressure heaped on warehouse managers and their workers trying to serve the needs of retailers,” says Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Midland Pallet Trucks.
“Although stockpiling for Brexit and the UK appetite for next day delivery from large online retailers certainly aren’t due to wain anytime soon, we must consider the safety of those placed with the task of satisfying these demands.”
With such a heightened demand currently in place and expected to rise further still as the UK heads towards Brexit, workers in the warehousing sector are at risk of common workplace injuries caused by lifting heavy items without the appropriate lifting equipment.
Last year, a report from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), statistics showed that over half a million UK workers suffered from work-related musculoskeletal disorders in 2017 to 2018, with over 40% of these injuries affecting the back.
This led to 6.6 million lost days at work due to musculoskeletal disorders costing the UK economy millions in lost productivity.
In order to safeguard employee wellbeing and reduce the number of days lost due to similar injuries, Midland Pallet Trucks is advising employers to consider their current lifting equipment availability including hand pallet trucks, manual stacker trucks and lift tables to help them keep up with this busy period without putting individuals at risk.