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By Barriers Direct on 20/10/2020

The Necessity of School and Work Lockers in a Covid-19 World

The Necessity of School and Work Lockers in a Covid-19 World

Life as we always knew it has changed drastically in the past few months. I’m sure when we were welcoming 2020 with open arms a good 10 months ago, we never imagined that it would bring such uncertainty and confusion. We have had to adapt our daily lives with social distancing becoming a necessity, and leaving the house with a mask on becoming the new norm. 

Professional workspaces have had to limit the number of employees in them, or shut down all together. Educational institutions such as universities, colleges, and schools have also had to come to a halt and adapt their spaces to suit appropriate social distancing requirements and track and trace all of their students. Daily temperature checks and continuous hand sanitisation are two things that are keeping students safe with the reopening of schools all over the country.  

With the re-opening of so many schools taking place at the beginning of the academic year, there was a lot of anxiety and fear as hundreds of students fled the hallways and classrooms for another year of learning. Even with all of these measures being put in place, there is still a sense of apprehension as parents let their children return to their regular daily routine, which has never looked so unfamiliar. 

School Lockers Providing Safe Storage for Students 

Many parents are concerned about the number of things their children will have to carry around the school with the elimination of school lockers. Teachers are concerned about the congregation of students in corridors and hallways as they gather to unload things into their lockers. 

However, if students are staggered and there is sufficient control over when students can use their lockers during different periods of the day, school lockers are not only a great storage solution, but they eliminate the risk of students carrying too many items during the day. These various items,  such as books or pencil cases, can carry and transport the virus even more and to more places around the school. If a student is having to go from one classroom to another carrying all of their belongings, then they are at higher risk of picking up germs, such as the virus, from surfaces and transporting it around wherever they go around the school. 

The virus actually can survive and live on various surfaces for several days. The coronavirus can live on surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for up to an entire week. So it is much better for young students who are using plastic bottles or stainless steel water bottles to keep hydrated, to keep these items in school lockers and only use them at allocated times, before and after hand washing, to ensure the virus does not spread on objects such as these. 

There are also several items of research that indicate a child’s school backpack should only be 10% of the child’s weight. Anything heavier than that can lead to severe pain in a child’s back, neck, and shoulders. This means that the elimination of school lockers can cause health problems for children that are required to carry all of their possessions and don’t have anywhere in the school to store their belongings until the end of the day. 

Metal lockers are extremely simple to maintain and keep clean with their practical design and slim structure. They don’t take up too much space, so they can fit into a narrow hallway without feeling too cramped or causing too much overcrowding. They can be easily wiped down every day to get rid of any lingering germs too. They are easy to transport and versatile in their use, so can be put in hallways, gymnasiums or even larger classrooms that have some extra unused space. Each locker can be firmly closed with it’s own locker padlock, for extra security. 

A school in Canada even used their lockers for a great purpose and creatively designed the front of each locker with a colourful message to welcome back students during these unprecedented times. The eye-catching designs were made to help students feel at ease and excited to return back to school. A great gesture to encourage students and a fantastic way to use such simple tools to make a difference for the morale of the students, and teachers alike. . 

Staff Lockers 

Teachers and other members of staff will also be returning to work and will need to be made to feel safe and secure in their workplace. Many teachers require a lot of supplies during their teaching day, which may be hard to keep out of the reach of young children. This again is another risk for the transmission of the virus and germs spreading around the classroom unnecessarily. Providing teachers with personal lockers in their classrooms will keep their belongings safe and secure, as well as out of the reach of students and maintaining the control of the virus spreading even further. 

Providing teachers with lockers also gives them a space to store high valued belongings such as laptops that they may not want to travel with back and forth every day. Leaving such items securely in their personal lockers, sealed with their own locker padlock gives them peace of mind. It also means that they are carrying less on their commute home, and this is crucial in these present times, especially if their main form of transportation is on public buses or trains. The less they are carrying, the less chance of their belongings being touched by strangers and any germs being spread around further. 

Office Lockers 

Office lockers can also provide similar storage solutions and security for office workers and employees in larger corporations. Going into the office has become a less regular thing with some employees only going in a couple of days of a week for essential meetings. Lugging valuables such as a work laptop or tablet is not the most ideal or efficient way to keep your electronics safe and maintained. There are specific laptop lockers and laptop trollies designed for extremely efficient laptop storage, and means computers can be kept in the office overnight in a very secure way. 

Theft rates in offices have increased substantially over the years with pricey belongings being swiped from under employees’ noses. These lockers provide effective security and storage so that expensive possessions can be kept away from prying eyes, whether it be overnight, or during the working day. 

Lockers, Lockers, Lockers!

Lockers are so much more than an efficient storage solution and a place where you can securely store away all of your valuables with your very own padlock. They are providing a safe space for colleagues and students, knowing that there is a spot in a public area that is just theirs and they can keep their most important belongings without anyone else's disturbance or involvement. 

For a moment in the day they are able to find refuge away from the chaos and confusion and just spend a moment at their personal locker, feeling safe in knowledge that no one else has touched these items. This is truly invaluable at a time like this where being in a usual public setting such as a school or office building can now seem daunting and strangely overwhelming.

By Barriers Direct on 20/10/2020

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