According to recent research carried out by commercial real estate group BNP Paribas, warehousing uptake has hit a record high as the UK enters a second national lockdown; meaning health and safety awareness is even more critical, warns materials handling equipment supplier, Midland Pallet Trucks.
3.5 million sq ft of warehouse space has been leased in the UK during the third quarter of the year, a 73% increase on the same period in 2019. This takes overall occupied space up to 34.6 million sq ft, surpassing the previous annual record set in 2016 with a further 10 million sq ft still under negotiation.
With Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic leading causes of the rush to secure quality warehousing space, demand is exceeding supply with many developers battling to purchase suitable land in order to keep up with the surge for space.
As pressures begin to mount as Brexit looms and a 2nd national lockdown gets underway, the strain many warehousing operations currently face cannot be understated as online shopping, stockpiling and the festive season all contribute to a huge uptick in ecommerce.
Midland Pallet Trucks, a provider of high-quality lifting equipment for the warehousing industry including pallet trucks, manual stacker trucks and lift tables, says that health and safety protocols should be reviewed and stringently applied to protect workers from the increased risk of issues such as musculoskeletal injuries and falls while at work that come along with more frenetic workplaces.
Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Midland Pallet Trucks said: “Injury rates caused by lifting and falls from height showed no signs of abating in 2019, and with 2020 seeing incredible strain placed on the warehousing and logistics sector, more needs to be done to ensure that staff have all they need to carry out assigned tasks without fear of injury.
“Re-evaluate lifting and pallet equipment and check that both are in plentiful supply and are fit for purpose. As pressures to up productivity continue to increase in light of new lockdown developments, it is imperative that all lifting and manual handling equipment is well maintained and readily available to help safeguard the health of warehousing teams.”
As warehousing recruiters are also reporting a stark shortage of skilled warehousing staff, the risk of injury for current employees working within the sector must be taken into account with measures put in place to safeguard workers.
Phil Chesworth continues “As we have been granted special permission to continue trading during lockdown, we want to help support the warehousing and logistics sector during a time of extreme demand. Our supplies of hand pallet trucks, electric trucks, manual stackers and weighing scale pallet trucks remain plentiful, we have an experienced team on hand to advise on equipment suitability and offer expedited shipping.”