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Employee Safety in Walk-In Freezer Room: Kit & Storage Tips 

Walk-in Freezer

Commercial walk-in freezers are an excellent option for many businesses. They allow for large storage space and a larger production! In the often demanding and fast-paced environments that demand such a facility attention to safety is even more paramount! 

Working in below 0 temperatures has its risks! Slips, trips, and falls are common, particularly given the icy conditions within the freezers. Exposed skin may also meet freezing surfaces causing frostbite, and even leading to loss of fingers and toes. The possibility of these occurrences highlights the critical necessity for stringent safety measures, thorough training, and consistent reminders when using walk-in-coolers.  

Inevitably, there will be instances where employees get lost in daydreams, momentarily distracted from their tasks and although going into the walk-in-cooler unnecessarily might seem tempting in the Aussie heat it’s imperative that protocol takes precedent and best practice is always maintained. Proper management of cooling facilities like these can encourage correct following of procedure through education of the hazards involved.  

Here are our Big Bear top tips to make sure your walk in freezer is a safer place to work in! 

Slips, Trips and Falls – It’s a slippy business!

The low temperatures, icy surfaces, and high humidity levels can lead to an increased risk of slips, trips, and falls. Therefore, implementing stringent safety protocols and procedures is not just recommended, it’s an obligation. By doing so, you are not only protecting your business, but most importantly, the lives of those who keep it running! 

Maintaining a dry environment within walk-in freezers and coolers is a critical aspect of employee safety. During the routine activities of loading, unloading, and stocking inventory, incidents of damaged items are inevitable. These may result in liquid spills, which then freeze, causing a perilous floor surface!

These hazards are entirely preventable if promptly and effectively addressed. Therefore, any spill should be immediately cleaned up to avoid potential incidents. One way to manage this is by having cleaning equipment on hand. We then advise you arrange a schedule of regular checks to ensure the space is nice and dry. 

Build-up of ice in walk-in freezer rooms

The build-up of ice and frost presents a different kind of challenge. Such conditions are an inherent characteristic of these frigid environments and so require a more persistent and routine effort to manage. Regular maintenance and cursory checks of the cooler can significantly reduce the risks associated with such build-ups. Along with the cleaning equipment you could store a scraping utensil alongside it. Dedicate a monthly schedule to specifically address the ice and frost build-up in potentially perilous areas. Easy! 

Maintaining clean coolrooms

Maintain a little decorum in your cooler… An untidy environment can create confusion, increasing the risk of slips, falls, and handling errors. A cooler or freezer cluttered with disorganised inventory can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria or mould growth. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to ensure regular cleaning and systematic organisation of your cooling appliances. With well-organised inventory, employees can easily familiarise themselves with the layout, enhancing their efficiency and reducing the time spent in these chilly environments. This practice not only makes the most of your freezer room size but significantly reduces the risk of accidents and the potential for unsanitary conditions.

Freezer storage room shelves 

Overloaded shelves in walk-in freezers and coolers can present a significant risk to employee safety and efficiency. It’s important to pay attention to the load-bearing capacity of your shelving units. Remember, not all individuals share the same physical abilities – some may be shorter, lack strength, or have restricted dexterity. Therefore, storing heavier boxes on higher shelves is an accident waiting to happen. Such practices not only create hazardous and strenuous working conditions, but they also hamper productivity, reduce storage capacity, and potentially damage shelving units. It’s vital to educate your staff on safe storage practices and enforce them consistently. This includes arranging items based on weight, with heavier items stored at lower levels to reduce the risk of falls and injuries. By doing so, you cultivate a safer, more efficient, and inclusive working environment.

Industrial freezer room kit – wrapping up warm

Working in near-arctic conditions is a daunting task, and doing so without the correct safety gear is tantamount to inviting problems. Spending an extended period in a cold environment without appropriate clothing, such as a coat, hat, or gloves, can lead to severe issues like frostbite or even hypothermia. It might be hard to imagine someone venturing into a freezer without a jacket or gloves, yet such occurrences are not as infrequent as you might think, especially in Australia. Employees unfamiliar with the demands of such working environments may not be aware of the necessary gear. Sometimes, a typical coat or gloves are inadequate for these conditions. Add to this the fact that equipment can easily become lost or damaged, and it becomes clear that it is important for any employer to have multiple sets of the correct safety gear readily accessible near the appliance.

Ensuring that your employees have the tools and equipment they need to safely perform their duties is of course high on the list of priorities. The simple step of providing high-quality, suitable clothing can significantly reduce the risk of cold-related injuries, contributing to a safer workplace. We are very happy to point you in the right direction if you’re unsure of what to get, we’re used to the cold at Big Bear! 

As you can see, in just a few simple steps you can help minimise risks and foster a safer working environment in walk-in freezers and coolers. Regularly maintaining, inspecting, cleaning, organising, and educating your staff on safe practices can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. Additionally, ensuring that appropriate safety gear is readily available and enforcing its use can protect employees from the harsh conditions of working in near-freezing temperatures. 

Contact us, where here to help you keep it cool and safe!

Here at Big Bear Refrigeration air-conditioning, Sydney, we know how to keep things cool and are always available to help you keep your staff safe and maintain a productive and efficient workplace! We are refrigeration experts and if you’re looking to install your very own commercial freezer room give us a call and we can talk you through the installation process of your custom freezer room! (as well as all the safety!) Let’s work together to create a safer environment for all employees in walk-in coolers and freezers. See you around. 🐻‍❄️❄️