Following a statement by Peter Ward of the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) at the beginning of the month that there is no available space left in UK warehouses as many UK retailers preparing for a potential no-deal Brexit, safety concerns have been sparked for workers operating in the sector.
With many businesses panicking as the Brexit date draws ever closer and ordering in goods to safeguard against shortages after the departure, the UK Warehousing Association is suggesting that there is virtually no spare capacity to cope with additional stockpiling in the event of a no-deal scenario.
This is not good news for UK retailers, but even greater concern is warranted for the safety and wellbeing of warehouse workers who are being tasked with lifting and loading a record number of deliveries ready for storage in the already limited spaces available.
With record demand for warehousing space and a dramatic spike in the number of consignments needing to be processed on a daily basis, workers are at increased risk of musculoskeletal injuries as the pressure to process orders in and out of the warehouse quickly mounts.
Midland Pallet Trucks, which specialises in materials handling equipment including pallet trucks, manual stacker trucks and lift tables, says safeguarding the health and wellbeing of staff as they work to meet targets during one of the industry’s most challenging periods to date demands that materials handling equipment be reviewed and added to if necessary.
Phil Chesworth, managing director of Midland Pallet Trucks, said: “The amount of warehousing space available is severely limited thanks to Brexit stockpiling, so warehouse employees are expected to meet hefty targets to ensure that new consignments are processed as quickly as possible.
“Without the appropriate lifting equipment, these repetitive tasks can lead to strain and injuries, so it is essential that warehouse managers provide their employees with the items needed in order to reduce the risk of injury and enhance productivity.”