Many factors can contribute to poor air quality in a warehouse. Among the most common are:
- Exhaust fumes from ongoing pick up and drop off of goods.
- Chemical emissions from manufacturing processes or raw materials.
- Poor maintenance of ventilation, heating and air-conditioning systems.
- Inadequate ventilation, lack of fresh outdoor air or contaminated air being brought into the building. This can be a bigger problem in winter when warehouses are sealed off from the cold.
- Dampness and moisture due to leaks, flooding or high humidity.
- Forklift idling or length of operation.
- Temporary activity in the building, such as construction or remodeling
Air pollutants can cause respiratory diseases as well as cancer. When a person is exposed to carbon monoxide for extended periods of time, organs like the brain and heart are starved. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are dizziness, headaches, visual disturbance, nausea, confusion, chest pain, weakness and unconsciousness.
1 Install high speed doors:
High speed roll up doors dramatically reduce the time that dust and contaminants can enter one warehouse zone to another.
High speed dooralso reduce the time that materials handling and other vehicles spend in areas, reducing fumes and exhaust toxins in loading bay and picking and packing areas.
2 Install insulated doors:
Insulated doorswork as great barriers to keep controlled air in and keep contaminants and pollutants out. Truck fumes, bacteria, dust and other particulates which can cause respiratory health issues for employees are dramatically reduced with the use of insulated
3 Install air curtain to your warehouse :
Air curtainswork to dramatically prevent heated or cooled air from escaping through open doors. They not only help keep air free of insects, but also provide significant energy savings and personal comfort for employees
4 Install Industrial ceiling fans / H.V.L.S Fans :
The right industrial ceiling fans/ h.v.l.s fans installed at strategic points can move air precisely, efficiently and smoothly throughout areas of your warehouse. They are especially important in winter when warehouses are sealed off due to cold weather. You’ll realize dramatically improved air quality in your building for years yet with low impact to operating costs
5 Clean your H.V.A.C system frequently :
Dust from truck traffic, sorting machines, packaging materials, handling of goods, nearby traffic, pollution and pollen can all enter your warehouse through routine operations. And your HVAC systemcan be significantly impacted, reducing its effectiveness in not only making the environment safe for employees, but also maintaining a clean space for product handling and storage. Routine maintenance of your HVAC system will go a long way in keeping air quality in your warehouse at a good level.
6 Install good quality dock seals / shelters and weather stripping:
With the installation of securedock seals/ dock shelter and weather stripping,you’ll be able to increase energy conservation, protect people and products from outside contaminants and more easily maintain internal temperatures and air quality within the building. There are several types available which can be configured for your warehouse requirements such as basic compression dock seals, inflatable seals, standard dock shelters and hybrid dock seal/shelter/inflatable
7 Install a rain guard / shroud at your docks :
Rain shrouds can be implemented at your warehouse docks to create a tight seal against the top of trailers and prevent rain entering the loading dock area. Anytime there is unwanted water in any area of a facility, there is a chance of mold build up which can be toxic for employees and products. Keeping areas that are vulnerable to the weather clean and dry will go a long way in the reduction and elimination of mold growth.
Every warehouse has its own special requirements based on geography, types of products handled and stored, and the number of employees working in the areas. It’s a good idea to have a warehouse air quality professional evaluate and make recommendations for a thorough air quality plan, however, initiating these 7 steps that you can do now will get you on your way to better air quality in your warehouse sooner rather than later. Not all exposures to poor quality air will cause symptoms, but good building management means being proactive to ensure a healthy environment. Yes, warehouses present a unique challenge when it comes to air quality, comfort and temperature control. But taking steps to improve the quality of air and create a more comfortable and healthful working environment for employees has many paybacks, including increased productivity and peace of mind.