5 Environmental Exposures in Warehouses
Most people who manage warehouses might not feel that these are all that dangerous or complicated. In some cases, this is quite true. In other cases, your warehouse is a complex space that requires a specific type of coverage or insurance package. Plus, you need to be aware of all the environmental exposures that might creep up on you.
A Few Considerations for All Warehouse Managers
When you manage a warehouse, there are a few boilerplate issues of which you should be aware:
- The historic use of the facility (you need to know what issues you could be facing because of how the warehouse was once used)
- Are the items you store compatible with one another?
- Are there other tenants? What are they storing there?
- Is the facility’s electrical system up-to-date?
- Is there a radon detection or mitigation system?
- Are you situated near residential communities that have a right to know what you’re storing on the premises?
Fires can break out at any time. Yes, it’s more likely that a fire will break out in the dead of summer when it’s very hot. However, there are dangerous items that might catch fire if they are stored improperly, including:
- Industrial chemicals or solvents
- Toxic byproducts, gases, or fluids
Plus, you may have issues with:
- Electrical wiring
- Lightning strikes
- Stored batteries
- HVAC concerns
- Temperature control issues
While these issues don’t guarantee that a fire will take place, you can be sure that the odds of a fire occurring increase with the presence of these items, these happenings, and complacency that can often overtake a business.
Abandoned or Forgotten Chemicals or Substances
Abandoned and forgotten chemicals and substances can cause fires simply because no one realizes that they are there. This issue goes far beyond storing chemicals you already knew you had. What about substances that are simply lingering in the facility.
This is especially scary when you realize how large your warehouse is and, even if you have an inventory, you may not know how to reach those items or know if they are stored safely.
You should take time to inventory your warehouse and look for anything that might be left behind. You may need to take the next step and have your team search for forgotten items and investigate their status. If you don’t know what a stored item is or realize it’s unsafe, you should handle it with care or even call out a hazmat team to help.
Liquid waste may appear at any time—for a variety of reasons. You may have runoff from seasonal rainstorms in the area. You might notice dripping condensation from packages that were refrigerated. You may also have leaking packages that need to be cleaned and the leaking fluid must to be washed away safely.
Mold can grow at any time, and you should be on the lookout. You can smell mildew, and you might notice the odour before you see anything. Moreover, you should hire a professional mold remediation firm instead of trying to clean it yourself. You don’t know how far the mold has grown, and you must be careful with a substance that be extremely dangerous and can even shut down your business.
As mentioned previously, leaks can happen. However leaks might just be a sound or a smell. You might feel something is wrong and not know why. If you hear something, investigate. If you notice a smell, investigate. Do as much as you can to understand what’s happening, hire a trained plumber to stop the leak, and bring in a professional remediation crew to clean up the leak.
Aside from toxic odours, you also need to be concerned with slips and falls that could seriously injure or even kill employees or guests.
Contact The Dale Group for More Information on Commercial Facilities and Insurance
Reach out to our team at The Dale Group at any time for information on environmental exposures in your warehouse. Because all warehouses are different, you must be sure to carry insurance that perfectly fits with your firm and how it operates. We will help you get the best prices, keep costs down, and provide the claims advocacy you deserve.