Installing metal lockers in your workplace can be a great way of keeping staff areas tidy and organised, as well as giving a sense of security for personnel to leave their valuables behind. Here’s our guide to things to look out for when reviewing lockers.

Security

Now more than ever before, many people are walking around with thousands of pounds worth of equipment on them. Between mobile phones, tablets, expensive clothing and car keys, it is imperative that you give your staff somewhere safe to store their items while they are on shift – it’ll give them peace of mind so they can concentrate on their work and make it harder for dishonest people to find an opportunity to steal.

Your lockers should be fitted with a reliable lock – ones that need a key or a code to open and close them are common options. More advanced lockers will also have concealed hinges and flush-fitting doors to prevent people from using a screwdriver or pry bar to lever open the door with a brute force approach.

Size

If your business requires people to change out of their street clothes into a uniform, or if you mandate the use of personal protection equipment (PPE) such as hard hats, aprons, gauntlets or visors, you should consider larger lockers. Great options for these scenarios are lockers that look almost like a narrow wardrobe – long enough for people to hang up coats and clothing without them creasing. If space or budget precludes these as a viable choice, make sure your lockers have sufficient depth, height and width for people to fold their clothes and store them safely.

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Quantity

You’ll need to have sufficient locker units/compartments to cater for all of your staff. If you run shift-based operations then you can encourage staff to empty their lockers at the end of each shift, reducing the number you need to source – otherwise you need one per person. Make sure you have enough space to put the lockers, and bear in mind that it’s preferable to anchor them to the wall to prevent them tipping over.

Style

Even if your lockers are not going to be customer-facing (i.e. they’re going to be installed in a staff-only space) you should consider the look of them. The more aesthetically pleasing you make your staff areas, the happier, better motivated and more positive your staff will be – so try and get locker units that either fit seamlessly with your current style, or add a little splash of colour to the room.

Material and construction

Your lockers are likely to take a beating. They’ll be used a lot, with people not necessarily closing the doors gently and respectfully. All the materials and construction techniques used need to have been designed for longevity – from the door and the frame through to the hinges, handles and locks. Shelves need to have a decent maximum load capacity, to make sure they can handle anything that staff are likely to want to store.

Many metal lockers are available with vented doors. These can range from simple louvres in the front, through to diamond or rectangular patterned perforations. Ventilations allow air to flow inside the locker, and prevent build-up of musty or stale air.

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Cost

Of course, the price of the lockers is likely to be a key factor in your choice. Bear in mind that if you go for a cheaper option that is less durable or isn’t fully fit for purpose you’ll inevitably end up replacing them quite soon. Spending more initially can save money in the long run, as a top quality locker unit should last you for a great many years.Author Bio: First Mats started life as safety matting specialists, but have since expanded to become a complete industrial and commercial supplies company. The focus of First Mats is to provide safety-focused products that improve the wellbeing of staff through quality approved products, backed up by extensive knowledge. www.firstmats.co.uk

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