15 Tips for Keeping Your Warehouse Productive This Summer

Ensure your staff’s comfortable and your operation remains productive

For some of us, the summer heat has already made an appearance (for others, it’s yet to happen). As we enter the year’s hottest months, it’s safe to say that working in a warehouse can become an exhausting and challenging activity. So, how can you ensure your staff’s comfortable AND your operation remains productive – even when the temperatures rise? Well, here are a few tips to help . . .

DID YOU KNOW?

At 29.5°c, each employee loses 8.8% of his or her productivity
15 Tips to Keeping Your Warehouse Productive This Summer

DID YOU KNOW?

At 29.5°c, each employee loses 8.8% of his or her productivity

Start Fanning Out

Ceiling-mounted behemoths are energy-efficient.

When it comes to cooling vast warehouse spaces, air conditioning costs can quickly spiral out of control. How do you solve this? With high volume, low speed (HVLS) fans. Ceiling-mounted behemoths are energy-efficient and can achieve over 1,800m² coverage with just 7m blades.

To further illustrate their efficiency and effectiveness, single HVLS fans can replace up to 20 smaller ceiling fans.

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Tip 1

Always try to prevent temperatures in the warehouse from reaching around 30 °C
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Tip 2

Invest in HVLS fans to ensure widespread coverage of cooler air in an energy-efficient way
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Tip 3

When necessary, combine air conditioning with HVLS fans for faster drops in temperatures
15 Tips to Keeping Your Warehouse Productive This Summer

DID YOU KNOW?

“20°c is the ideal temperature for factory and warehouse workers” – the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

Everyone is Different

Heat affects people differently.

During the summer months, it’s important to remember that heat affects people differently. Some employees may be able to handle the hotter temperatures, whereas others will begin to struggle. With this in mind, pay close attention to older employees or staff new to manual work. And of course, always make allowances for workers who suffer from illnesses as they may need special attention.

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Tip 4

Allow warehouse workers to drink water every 15 minutes or so
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Tip 5

Expect slower working progress due to restrictive conditions
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Tip 6

Pay close attention to older employees and those with illnesses

DID YOU KNOW?

“20°c is the ideal temperature for factory and warehouse workers” – the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

DID YOU KNOW?

The risk of heat-related illness dramatically increases when temperatures climb to 26°c or higher
15 Tips to Keeping Your Warehouse Productive This Summer

DID YOU KNOW?

The risk of heat-related illness dramatically increases when temperatures climb to 26°c or higher

Door-to-door Solutions

Warehouses feature many doors and loading bays.

Having achieved a comfortable temperature in the warehouse, it would be a shame to see this cool air fly out the door. However, warehouses feature many doors and loading bays that need to be taken into consideration. The obvious solution would be to keep these openings closed. Whenever this is not possible, vinyl strip doors or curtains are the ideal solutions. They not only keep cool air in and warm air out, but they’re also hugely energy efficient as there is less need to overcome temperature increases.

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Tip 7

Identify all openings in your warehouse, including doors, bays, and windows
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Tip 8

Aim to keep all doors closed and trap the cool air inside
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Tip 9

Otherwise, use vinyl strip curtains to prevent cold air from exiting
15 Tips to Keeping Your Warehouse Productive This Summer

DID YOU KNOW?

Bar code scanners operate in temperatures ranging from 0°c to 40°c

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

Parts expand and are more susceptible to friction.

In a warehouse environment, there are typically hundreds and even thousands of moving parts and components. Now, during warmer weather, these parts can expand and become more susceptible to friction. Of course, the friction causes heat, which in turn makes the situation worse until there is a breakdown or catastrophic failure.

So during the summer months, just be aware that it’s not only your employees that need your attention. Your machinery and equipment do too!

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Tip 10

Ensure warehouse parts and components are regularly serviced and maintained
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Tip 11

Keep an eye on performance levels and operating temperatures during warm weather
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Tip 12

Train employees to spot the tell-tale signs of overheating and install reporting procedures

DID YOU KNOW?

Bar code scanners operate in temperatures
ranging from 0°c to 40°c

DID YOU KNOW?

Over 66% of workers say their productivity is compromised when they cannot take leave when needed
15 Tips to Keeping Your Warehouse Productive This Summer

DID YOU KNOW?

Over 66% of workers say their productivity is compromised when they cannot take leave when needed

The Great Getaway

Give staff time to relax, recuperate and recharge.

The kids are off school, barbecues and al fresco dinners are being planned, and family activities are in full swing. Suffice to say, the summer months can be a huge distraction for your warehouse employees when at work. So, plan as best as possible to ensure staff can take annual leave as and when they want it. This not only enables them to spend time with their families and loved ones. It also gives them time to relax, recuperate and recharge before returning to your warehouse.

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Tip 13

Plan summer months effectively to ensure maximum vacation days for workers
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Tip 14

Post staff holiday bookings publically within the team so everyone is aware of availabilities
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Tip 15

Where possible, allow employees to swap and trade vacation days to suit themselves

The One Stop Shop

We provide a complete consultancy service from start to finish.

It doesn’t matter if the weather is scorching hot, freezing cold, or in between, running a productive warehouse can be a challenge. But that’s where we can help. At Locators, we recommend and supply the optimal materials handling and storage systems for all environments. With a view of the end-user in every project and application, we provide a complete consultancy service from start to finish. Alongside this, we even supply all the tools/products you could need. So, whether it’s racking, forklifts, pickers or a variety of other solutions, we can ensure your warehouse remains productive . . . whatever the weather.

To find out how we can help your business, email sales@locators.co.uk today, or call 01202 854 200 to arrange a discussion with a member of our expert team.

What our clients say

We are very pleased with the change from an engine to an electric fleet. The trucks have been well received by our operators as they are comfortable and quiet to drive and give excellent protection from the elements. We even have the option and flexibility to use spare batteries and a simple battery change system if we ever want to work back to back shifts in the future. Locators also design, supply and install all types of racking and storage systems. They reconfigured the CooperVision warehouse for narrow aisle operation which increases the storage density and pallet locations. Locators supplied Aisle-Master articulated forklifts to work in this area.

Coopervision, Hamble

We have worked with Locators for nearly 20 years. We are confident they can always make the best use of the space we have available and provide us with forklifts that are well suited for the long loads and other stock we have to move.

Colin Macgregor
Director, Y Goldberg

Every time we look at an application, Locators approach it like a blank canvas and always recommend the best equipment for our business. Locators have proved themselves as a very reliable and proactive service provider by keeping our trucks working and our fleet costs as low as possible.

Adam Conrad
Group Transport Manager for Covers

Being able to work with one supplier for storage and materials handling has been a benefit to us. Locators managed the complete installation and ensured the correct materials handling equipment was specified for their design. They also service and maintain all of the equipment they have supplied and offer a rack inspection service to make sure our warehouse remains a safe working environment. We are very happy with our new facility and we believe we have made the best use of the available space.

Marc Congdon
Engineering Manager, Costa

We purchased our first Toyota forklift from Locators 14 years ago for our farm. This truck has been very reliable and is still in service so we had no hesitation in deciding to purchase another Toyota machine. Locators recommended an electric forklift for our machinery depot as it is very quiet, has low running costs and does not create any pollution, making it ideal for working both inside and outside. Our operators are very pleased with our new Toyota truck and our business is very happy to be operating a forklift that has such a low impact on the environment.

Ed Smales
Director, NFFM

Locators installed the new racking system within a tight timeframe while our business was fully operational. They have provided us with a facility that has a similar storage capacity and reduced the size of our forklift fleet allowing us to lease one building instead of two. We are very happy with the outcome.

Paul Bickell
Nippon Express

Locators gave us the benefit of working with just one supplier for all of the storage and materials handling requirements of this project. By mixing 3 and 4 wheel trucks from the same model range, we have gained extra pallet locations and have the option to battery change between them and work multi-shift in the future. I was initially sceptical that electric trucks could replace LPG, but I am very pleased with the successful outcome of this project.

Mark Davis
Logistics Supervisor for Hall & Woodhouse brewery

It is a great benefit to us that we have a single source supplier who understands the needs of our business. This saves us time, improves efficiency and ultimately reduces cost.

Richard Horrocks
Smurfitt Kappa