Throughout the stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve had different orders relating to restrictions and total lockdown of specific industries. However, some essential businesses have continued to operate because of how indispensable they are to our day-to-day lives. One of those is the manufacturing industry.
Employers and employees in manufacturing companies have continued to work despite the possible health and safety risks. Therefore, the best sustainable practices to provide a safe work environment for employees must be put in place.
Here are some precautions that manufacturing facilities need to consider and implement for the safety of their employees.
Provide Essential Cleaning and Safety Facilities
Without COVID-19, manufacturing facilities should be safe enough for employees, with an adequate provision of all essential products. With COVID-19, you need to take the safety measures up an extra notch.
Public surfaces like workstations, breakrooms, and restrooms need to be regularly disinfected. Manufacturing facilities are typically large and complex spaces, making disinfecting a tactical task for anyone to carry out. Getting a professional disinfecting agency like SafeFromSpread to carry out sanitization and disinfection reduces the chances of contracting and spreading the virus.
Essential kits like disposable face masks and gloves, hand sanitizers, disinfecting wipes, and tissues, should also be made available throughout the facility.
Maintain Appropriate Social Distancing
Manufacturing facilities are as large as the population they contain. Therefore, it is important to maintain all social distancing rules, specifically the 6 feet away rule. This may seem like a lot, considering the facility’s productivity plan, but adjustments can be made to make it both safe and efficient. Take the following into consideration;
Use signage around the facility to help indicate direction for workers to move around
Reconfigure workstations so employees can carry out their functions without close contact.
Employ autonomous systems like automated guided vehicles (AGV) to move materials between stations. Not only does this save time, but it also reduces unnecessary contact among employees.
Implement a Shift System
Practicing shift systems throughout the day and week helps avoid congestion and close contact among employees, thereby reducing the risk of spreading the virus. Schedule your employees so that they all don’t have to be on duty at the same time of day or week.
Pre-shift screenings can also help to detect coronavirus symptoms among employees before they get into the facility. Ask employees for their 24-hour symptom experience and take temperature tests to verify any form of unusually high fever. Although this can’t totally detect the virus, it’s a step in the right direction in encouraging employees to pay attention to their health and safety.
Encourage sick leave
Employees shouldn’t feel they need to continue working even when they feel sick. Implement paid sick leaves and other supportive policies to encourage ailing employees to stay at home. Symptomatic employees should self-isolate and follow the steps recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This will drastically reduce the chances of spreading the virus among co-workers. These policies should be flexible, and the employees should know the details.
These precautions help employers of manufacturing companies prioritize safety, and weather the storm through COVID-19. Essential workers deserve a safe place to work while they keep producing the indispensable products that we all rely on for our day-to-day lives.