Material handling industry warned to be ready for winter

Published:  30 November, 2018

A material handling expert is warning companies to be prepared for a long, hard winter and to ensure that their businesses aren’t damaged by a lack of forward thinking.

With long range weather forecasts predicting this winter could be the worst in ten years, Paul Casebourne of the Material Handling Hub believes companies who don’t think ahead could end up in dire straits.

Casebourne has decades of experience in creating engineering solutions along with running the online information sharing platform, the Material Handling Hub.

He said: “We had an extremely bad weather last year and the forecasts indicate that this year it will be even worse.

“For many organisations with warehouses this is one of the busiest times of years so the last thing that anyone needs is for problems to arise.

“With a bit of foresight and forethought these can all be avoided.”

Casebourne has created a list of top tips to ensure that those who run warehouses are ready for whatever the weather throws at them:

Equipment maintenance

Snow and ice can impact on equipment performance so check truck tyres for traction and stability but also hydraulic systems – hoses can sometimes become loose and need regular checking and tightening to be able to deal with increased pressure when the temperature drops.

Electricity and heating

The last thing anyone wants to deal with during the winter is a loss of power. Not only make sure that data is backed up but look at investing in a back-up generator so you can continue operating.

Lower temperatures not only affect equipment performance but also the performance of staff. If it’s impossible to keep the warehouse at a warm level, ensure that staff are wearing appropriate clothing.

Check windows and gates to ensure they are firmly sealed so that water cannot get in.

Staff needs

The last thing anyone wants during the winter months is an accident so ensure that staff are briefed on taking care. Salt, grit or even a snow plough can help deal with any potential black spots that become slippery surfaces. Also, ensure you keep an eye on the roof in case snow gathers.

Casebourne said: “A lot of these ideas may seem very obvious,”

“But often when people are busy doing their day to day tasks they don’t have time to really plan ahead, but it’s vital to do that so you’re prepared for whatever the weather may throw at us.”

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