Essex-based haulage and logistics company, Forest Freight, has been fully operational throughout the COVID-19 lockdown, implementing strict warehouse safety measures to ensure the safety of staff and drivers. As lockdown is eased and more people return to work, these measures will be adapted and expanded to maintain high hygiene levels and protect everyone within the company.
The haulage and logistics sector has been severely impacted by the spread of coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown, making it harder for warehouses to work consignments and get them out for delivery. However, as an essential service that maintains the flow of supplies across the UK, it has been necessary for the industry to adapt to change and find new ways of working through the global crisis.
Forest Freight, who are instrumental in transporting goods between London Gateway and the city, are one of many haulage firms that have had to change their strategies in order to keep staff safe and cope with increasing demand.
The haulage and logistics solutions company have implemented a number of practices across the warehouse, yard, and back-office during this period of lockdown which will continue along with the phased reopening of the country. A policy of social distancing has been strictly enforced in the depot, with new signage in place to direct the flow of movement and a ‘one in, one out’ system for staff and customers entering the booking area.
All drivers and warehouse operators have been equipped with regulation-compliant PPE, allowing them to feel as safe as possible whilst carrying out consignments. Third-party drivers, who bring in consignments for storing, sorting and onward delivery, have been instructed to stay in their cabs at all times whilst on site. However, they may use the toilet facilities and booking area if needed, in which case the one in, one out policy applies.
Alex Saltwell, Operations Director at Forest Freight, commented:
“At Forest Freight, we understand more than most the necessity of conducting proper warehouse safety during this unprecedented lockdown – not just for our staff and drivers, but for our partners and customers also. That’s why we’ve taken multiple steps to ensure that everyone remains safe on-site whilst being able to receive consignments, unpack and store them, and get them ready for delivery.
The wellbeing of our team is the top priority, so we want to ensure a phased re-entry of the workforce, whilst remaining agile enough to implement more safety measures if they are required. This will allow us to fulfil storage and delivery requests whilst protecting staff throughout this on-going period of crisis.”
New handwash and hygiene stations have been installed throughout the depot, and as more people return to work, additional stations will be set-up in the facility. Similarly, in favour of the one in, one out policy, strict two-metre distancing measures will be enforced on all staff once the majority return to work, ensuring Forest Freight complies with all Government safety guidelines to protect workers.