A Tough Christmas for the Logistics Sector

The Logistics Sector is looking at a potential capacity crisis this Christmas. A perfect storm of a COVID-led 50% online sales boom, socially distanced families mailing gifts and a shortage of skilled drivers created by Brexit, could see record Christmas deliveries for an already overstretched supply chain.

ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT commented: ‘The huge demand for deliveries is being compounded by the reported loss of a quarter of a million EU nationals from the UK economy this year, which will lead to a 30% shortfall in drivers and warehouse workers. Even though many retailers and delivery companies are attempting to hire thousands more staff in preparation for this year’s Christmas peak, this might be difficult to do in practice.'

In order to avoid this crisis key players are already gearing up, Yodel announced it will create 2,950 new jobs to handle volumes during the Christmas peak and Amazon are reportedly creating more than 20,000 seasonal and permanent positions. The combination of an unprecedented increase in deliveries, an influx of new/temporary staff and the challenges of COVID-19 make safety precautions more important than ever. Here’s a few things to bear in mind

Don’t Get COVID Complacent

Keep COVID safety top of the safety agenda, the HSE receive thousands of complaints where employees aren’t working safely. Be proactive in implementing safer ways of working - social distancing and directional signage, vehicle sharing policies, cleaning regimes, sneeze guards and easily accessed hand sanitiser facilities.

Validate certificates and experience

Check the validity of training certification and the operational capability of temporary staff before they begin to use any type of forklift truck. When workers have been trained overseas, foreign certificates and licences may offer no certainty of training provision or capabilities – so proper assessment is a must.

Don’t limit training to drivers

Don’t limit safety training to the drivers. It is not only forklift operators that need adequate training but managers, supervisors and colleagues on foot. Safety awareness is essential for everyone – two thirds of workplace transport accident victims are pedestrians.

Build in training wriggle room

In the run-up to Christmas, factor in enough training and briefing time into the hiring cycle.

Don’t Cut Corners

Don’t let pre-shift handovers and safety checks fall by the wayside. During the Christmas period it will be long days for everyone and a lot of pressure to get deliveries out on time. It’s tempting to cut corners but the huge increase in warehouse traffic and temporary staff make these failsafes more important than ever.

Tracking the Racking

Keep an eye on your racking. Tight deadlines and temporary staff will increase the number of minor racking scrapes and bumps so keep an eye out for any structural weaknesses.

SG World offer a number of pre use safety inspection solutions for forklifts, MHE and racking. The simple checklist format gives temporary workers a clear procedure and a hi-vis yellow Pass/Fail tag. Additionally we stock a wide range of COVID-19 signage. Ensure staff safety remains a priority, even when the going gets tough over Christmas.

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