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DCs Cope with Sweltering Summer Weather

To keep workers comfortable and productive during the dog days of summer, The Container Store provides plenty of water and adjusts shifts as needed.

(Boonton, NJ, June 15, 2012) — Hot weather has returned to Dallas, and so has The Container Store's Water Truck. Every weekday afternoon from June through September, an employee from the retailer's front office drives through the company's 960,000-square-foot DC with coolers full of water and cold, damp paper towels.

The Water Truck is a simple way for the company to ease the challenging working conditions in the DC, says Mike Coronado, in the June issue of Distribution Center Management newsletter.

Coronado, distribution director at The Container Store, says that the DC has no air-conditioning, and summertime temperatures in Dallas routinely top 100 degrees.

With the dog days of summer approaching Distribution Center Management offers the following tips from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for keeping workers safe:

  • Train workers and supervisors about the hazards leading to heat stress and ways to prevent them.
  • Allow workers to get used to hot environments by gradually increasing exposure over at least a five-day work period.
  • Provide workers with plenty of cool water in convenient, visible locations close to the work area. Water should have a pleasant and odor-free taste. Water temperature should be 50 degrees to 60 degrees.
  • Remind workers to frequently drink small amounts of water before they get thirsty. During moderate activity in moderately hot conditions, workers should drink about six ounces every 15 minutes. Urine should be clear or lightly colored.
  • Monitor weather reports daily, and reschedule jobs with high heat exposure to cooler times of the day.
  • When possible, routine maintenance and repair projects should be scheduled for the cooler seasons of the year.
  • Schedule frequent rest periods with water breaks in shaded or air-conditioned recovery areas.

Additional hot-weather tips from The Container Store and other Dallas area DCs appear in the June issue of Distribution Center Management.


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