Cold storage facilities hold produce

Jun 18, 2020
Cold storage safety tips during COVID-19

What are cold storage operators doing to help mitigate risk of spreading COVID-19?

• Disinfect equipment and frequently touched surfaces before shifts begin and after shifts are complete. “High-touch” surfaces include material handling equipment/forklifts, tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, control panels, computer screens and monitors.

• Disinfect personal protection equipment with EPA-approved disinfectant spray. Freezer gear including freezer jackets, gloves and hats can be sprayed with disinfectant spray before and after shifts are complete. See the list of EPA-approved disinfectants.

• Limit or prohibit visitors, including drivers, from entering the facility. Rent external bathroom trailers to provide drivers with private bathroom facilities. Ensure these are cleaned and disinfected as often as permanent bathrooms in the facility.

• Limit driver contact with staff. If you do have drivers interacting with office staff, ask drivers to use hand sanitizer before handing off paperwork or other points of physical contact.

Related: Food industry, cold storage shift with online demand

• Keep senior management physically separate from each other for business continuity purposes. Members have reported conducting daily management briefings via video teleconferencing.

• Limit team member movement by asking management not to visit multiple sites; instead to stay at one specific site or facility.

• Stagger shift start/end times to reduce communal traffic at entry points and in locker rooms.

• Provide individually wrapped boxed lunches as much as possible. This reduces the need for employees to go off-campus, limiting potential opportunities for exposure. It also provides an opportunity to support local food retailers who may be suffering from reduced business.

• Designate space for on-site childcare given school and daycare closures, reducing the need for working parents to take a leave of absence.

• Permit employees to carry a negative balance in their sick time. Show your teams that you care and will work with them through this challenging time; while also mitigating the risk of exposure to other employees. Additional measures to be added as members share how they are responding.

— Global Cold Chain Alliance





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