Working in a warehouse

Tips to store for working in a warehouse

There are many good reasons why you should consider the opportunity of working in a warehouse. The industry is undergoing something of surge right now and there are plenty of chances for career development.

Why should I consider working in a warehouse?

Think of a product, any product at all. Chances are that at some point it will have been stored in a warehouse. In spite of technological advancements that have streamlined the industry, it remains a vast and sometimes complicated business in order to meet the demands of customers.

Warehousing is a major link in the UK logistics chain, an industry considered amongst the most efficient in the world and worth around £93 billion to our economy. The importance of the sector should not be underestimated, as the country would be bought to a complete standstill without the 196,000 logistics companies and the 1 in 12 people within the UK labour force that work within it.

What attributes are advantageous for working in a warehouse?

There are a wide variety of roles required within any warehouse operation. Some may require workers to be capable of physical work and be a good team player. Most roles don’t require formal qualifications but basic English, Maths and IT skills would be an advantage.

It’s possible there may sometimes be paperwork to complete and in some roles possessing colour-normal vision might be important.

Some regular tasks might include –

  • Moving stock by hand, lifting gear or forklift
  • Picking and packing orders
  • Taking delivery of goods
  • Preparing items for dispatch
  • Checking for missing or damaged goods
  • Maintaining relevant records and paperwork
  • Cleaning work areas

Types of work and conditions

Most warehouses will operate 7 days a week and in some cases 24 hours a day. To this end there is often full-time, part-time, temporary and shift work all available. At peak times there may also be the opportunity for overtime for those workers who wish to take advantage of it.

Working conditions may differ according to the types of goods being stored and could require specific clothing to be worn and training to be undertaken. This is particularly likely if the goods being stored require specialised conditions to be created.

Opportunities for career development

With experience, more potential roles are likely to be opened up. For such a big concern, roles like team leader, shift supervisor or warehouse manager are essential to the successful running of the operation. People management, health and safety and security are all issues that need to be well managed and controlled. For moving up into higher roles the following additional skills may be of use –

  • Advanced IT Skills
  • Numeracy skills
  • Planning and organisational skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Leadership skills

Health and safety when working in a warehouse

For all warehouse workers, a good understanding of health and safety within the environment is of the utmost importance. Important areas to consider might include –

  • Fire Safety – warehouse fires might not only affect the building and staff within it but also the immediate vicinity, particularly if situated in a residential area. Therefore fire safety is of major concern and stringent procedures will be in place.
  • Hazardous substances – hazardous substances require very specific management and consideration. Data sheets from the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) need to be completed and kept up to date and other relevant assessments carried out
  • Manual handling – given the high amount of loading and unloading, training will be required on manual handling techniques. Carrying out such tasks incorrectly can lead to musculoskeletal disorders and other related injuries in the workplace. Wherever possible forklifts should be used to complete such tasks generally. To see our blog on manual handling please click here.

In what is a huge and still growing industry, there are always opportunities for employment in the warehouse industry. It offers a fantastic insight into the logistics industry as a whole and can provide those with higher aspirations a chance for career development. Check back to our jobs page regularly for updates and news about vacancies.