As the warehousing industry enters into the busiest time of the year with record numbers of shoppers heading online to purchase Christmas gifts, a report from Amnesty International has drawn attention to the risks for warehouse workers tasked with fulfilling the growing demands of online shoppers.

With Covid-19 still a real and present danger for employees returning to work in a variety of industries, Amnesty International carried out surveillance of several distribution centres in France, Poland and the UK. It noted that social distancing measures could not be maintained due to aggressive targets, potentially making warehouses hotspots for infection.

The report serves to highlight the increasing pressure that staff and distribution centre managers find themselves under during heightened periods of demand.

Midland Pallet Trucks, a provider of high-quality materials handling equipment including pallet trucks, manual stacker trucks and lift tables, is offering helpful advice and support to warehouse and distribution centre workers as the UK gets ready to celebrate the Christmas season.

Simple measures such as making adequate stocks of lift tables and pallet trucks available can stop employees converging around essential pieces of equipment and increasing the likelihood of virus transmission.

Enhanced equipment ‘sanitisation stations’ to allow each piece of equipment to be wiped down with antibacterial fluid after use before being returned to its original position can also cut transmission risk, with more stations advisable in peak periods.

Midland Pallet Truck managing director Phil Chesworth said “Although these two new processes may take a little more time, having more equipment available to workers can cut down on disruptions to productivity and ensure that all workers can stay safe at work.

“Without staff, warehouses simply cannot operate or meet their targets, so a little extra cleaning and equipment can go a long way to help repress the virus.”

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