Employee Safety In Walk-In Coolers & Freezers

Accidents are going to happen in any business. When you have several employees rushing, working long hours, and under high demand, there are bound to eventually be problems. It’s more than easy to get lost in one’s thoughts and lose proper track of thinking and end up in an accident. This is how most accidents occur. A1 Portland Commercial Refrigeration Repair People are simply lost in daydreams. That said, as a business owner, it is your job to always present the safest working conditions possible. If your business is highly reliant on walk-in coolers or freezers, this is a practice you’ll have to pay especially close attention to. Such working environments create some of the most hazardous working conditions employees could face.

Maintaining A Dry Environment

When frequently loading, unloading, and stocking inventory, one can always expect damaged items. It’s simply the cost of doing business. A box gets dropped, something might even come from the factory busted, or maybe an employee puts too heavy a load on a smaller box. All these potential situations create scenarios for liquid spills. Unattended spills are the number one reason for falls in coolers and freezers. This is a true shame because such scenarios can be easily avoided by simply cleaning the spills. Ice build-up and frost are a bit of a different story, however. These two conditions are common in arctic environments and require a bit more frequent effort. If you are already properly maintaining your cooler and performing cursory checks it shouldn’t be that big of a deal to add ice and frost removal to the list. Keep a scraping utensil along with the other pertinent equipment stored near the appliance so you’ll always have quick access. Make it your monthly mission to remove ice and frost build-up in potentially dangerous locations. It goes without saying that liquid spills should be attended to immediately!

Regular Safety Checks

Going back to cursory checks, this is a practice that can save business owners a lot of future headaches. Just taking 5 to 15 minutes to perform a monthly safety check could save you a worker’s comp lawsuit or a heap of unpaid medical bills. That said, all walk-in coolers and freezers are equipped with inside safety latches or switches. Such components allow users inside the appliance to open the doors from the inside in the likely event they get locked in. As with anything mechanical, these switches can and will fail. Sometimes, they simply get frozen or stuck because they aren’t under constant operation. Either way, it’ll only be in your favor to make checking the operation of these devices a common check.

Maintaining a Clean Working Environment

Work gets hectic at times and life gets even more hectic. This is understandable and when one reaches their breaking point it is only natural to overlook things or leave tasks unattended. Unfortunately, this is not something you’ll want to do with your walk-in cooler or appliance. It probably seems a bit obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of businesses that don’t maintain clean and organized coolers and freezers. It’s just an accident waiting to happen and not doing so reduces the production and efficiency of employees to such poor levels that it isn’t even funny. If you keep your commonly used inventory stored and organized, employees will grow familiar with the layout and have an all-around easier time stocking, loading, prepping, or completing whatever tasks need to be accomplished. Not maintaining a clean cooling appliance not only drives down morale and productivity but also creates a potential environment for mold and bacteria growth.

Overloaded Shelves

If you are already going about maintaining a clean and organized environment in your coolers and freezers, you shouldn’t have to worry about overloaded shelves. However, this is still something worth mentioning. You must remind your employees to remember that not everyone is physically equal. Some people are height challenged, lacking in strength, dexterity, or simply not as capable. Therefore, placing heavier boxes on higher shelves is only asking for trouble. Such poor practices not only create tougher and unsafe working conditions, but it lowers production, and storage capacity, and could damage shelving units.

The Proper Gear

Working in near-arctic conditions is never a pleasant experience, but without the right safety gear, it’s impossible or just invites problems. Spend enough time in a cold environment without a coat, hat, or gloves, and you’ll get frostbite or might even catch a case of hypothermia. Although it might be unfathomable to think of someone going to a freezer without a jacket or gloves, you’d be surprised at such reported cases. And such cases usually always lead to problems or accidents. Some employees that aren’t familiar with such working environments might not be acquainted with the proper gear. Sometimes, a simple coat or gloves just aren’t enough in these environments. Throw in the fact that gear can easily get lost or damaged, and you’ll only see that it makes sense for any employer to keep several sets of proper safety equipment stored near the appliance. Make sure your employees have access to the tools and equipment needed for them to safely do their jobs

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