Air quality in any work environment is crucial for the safety, well-being and comfort of employees – this rings particularly true for those working in a warehouse environment. In general, warehouses pose a number of hazards to those working inside them, and poor ventilation is no exception.
The hazards in hot weather are often the focus when it comes to ventilation in warehouse environments, however there are also a number of factors that heighten risks during the colder months that should be considered.
Humidity and condensation
Issues can arise when it comes to the retention of heat in these commercial spaces – keeping the cold out and maintaining warmth inside gives air pollution and humidity the chance to build, while allowing the temperature to get low increases the chances for condensation to form.
Metal materials are a good indicator of the dampness in the air, as they are particularly susceptible to condensation, with cold temperatures causing them to become cooler than the surrounding air and forming moisture.
Condensation in a warehouse environment can create serious hazards, causing metal platforms and shelving to become slippery, and even inciting corrosion and damage to expensive machinery and equipment. Electronic components are also at high risk should condensation form, with excess moisture potentially leading to the delamination and contamination of printed circuit boards (PCB).
Similarly, poor warehouse ventilation in winter that lead to high levels of humidity can contribute to bacterial growth and mould – a considerable health risk to those working within the space. Not only does mould and mildew negatively affect employee health and wellbeing, it can also impact the safety of products, as well as the quality of stored materials and stock.
Why ventilation matters
Regulating temperature and encouraging optimal airflow can be particularly difficult (and costly) due to the constant change in air with stock movement and distribution, as well the sheer size of some warehousing facilities. This is why the installation of the right ventilation system is crucial – not only to ensure the comfort of employees but also to comply with work health and safety guidelines.
Edmond’s innovative EcoPower hybrid ventilation system is an Indoor Air Quality award-winning ventilator that works to ensure a constant supply of fresh air to warehouses and other large facilities, such as auditoriums, factories and schools. The system provides high efficiency ventilation, uses low energy consumption and has lasting performance and durability – delivering premium air quality whilst keeping running costs low.
The retention of warmth inside is also important factor in warehouse ventilation, incorporating dampers as part of your warehouse ventilation system is an effective way of maintaining air quality inside while regulating temperature levels. Dampers run intermittently to exhaust stale air and fumes out and will remain closed when unrequired.
Education and training
Once the right ventilation systems are in place, employee education and awareness is imperative in ensuring the safety of your warehouse environment. The dangers of poor ventilation should be made known to staff members, with education provided on what to look out for when it comes to dangerous conditions in the workplace, and processes in place on how to effectively deal with them.
Warehouse ventilation is vitally important. Understanding the different impact of temperature levels that come with the change of season and implementing the right systems for your environment will ensure the well-being, safety and comfort levels of employees, as well as the maintenance of products, stock and machinery year-round.