What actions inside the plant have others taken to keep coronavirus away?
Pandemics like COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, create a need for a new approach to managing operations within your manufacturing, warehousing, or distribution operation. This guide provides information and best practices related to minimizing the risk of COVID-19 within your workplace. Companies should review these best practices and implement those that are feasible within their operation.
Employee Distancing in Operations: The following is a list of items a company can implement to maintain employee distancing:
- Move as many job functions (e.g. office/admin) to remote working arrangements as possible.
- Stagger start times so all employees are not entering the facility and operating floor at the same time.
- Stagger break and lunch periods to minimize the number of staff in your break and lunch rooms.
- Rearrange workstations on the floor to maintain a minimum 6-foot separation. Where a minimum separation can’t be maintained, consider installing clear physical barriers or shields between operators.
- Move as many meetings as you can to a virtual format (or eliminate them). For remaining meetings, space out attendees to maintain minimum separation. Replicate meetings to reduce attendee size per meeting.
- Schedule shifts to avoid overlap so an entire shift can vacate the premise before the next shift arrives.
- Zone your operation and limit staff to only the zones they need to be in to do their work.
- Create new shifts and split employees between shifts to limit exposure to a single shift.
Operations Management Best Practices: Best practices in managing your operation to minimize any COVID-19 exposure include:
- Increasing the frequency and depth of sanitizing efforts, focusing especially on high-traffic areas, high-touch items, break-rooms, restrooms, controls, and tools.
- Conduct a routine cleaning in between each shift, and disinfect all touched surfaces.
- Provide sanitary wipes throughout the facility and train employees on using them constantly to clean hightouch surfaces.
- Train employees on self-responsibility behaviors (and refresh the training regularly) in regards to protecting themselves from exposure (frequent handwashing, eliminate physical contact, distancing, etc.).
- Post signage within your facility to promote proper activity. Refer to signage provided by the CDC.
- Identify key personnel to your operation and create schedules and procedures to isolate them from your other staff to minimize the risk of exposure.
- Improve and expand the cross-training of your employees across multiple job duties.
- Remove all unnecessary items from the operating area to minimize the number of exposed surfaces.
- Review if it is possible to remove lids, covers, doors, and other items that require contact to operate.
- Increase ventilation rates and increase the percentage of outdoor air that circulates into the facility.
Temperature checks before entering the factory gate (use IR scanning thermometer that does not require touching skin or ear temperature with an alcohol swab in between). A person who shows temperature above 99.5 degrees is not allowed to enter.Generally, measuring an employee's body temperature is a medical examination.
- Employers should develop and stick to an objective procedure for taking temperatures.
- If a medical professional is on staff, that individual should administer the screenings.
- If no medical staff is available, then the ideal administrator should be within HR or senior management.
- Limit the number of designated employees that will take temperatures to provide consistency. Employee health information should be kept confidential, but not in the employee’s personnel files.
- Employees standing in line to have their temperature taken should stay 6 feet apart.
- Infrared digital thermometers should be used.
- Actively encourage sick employees to stay home until they are free of fever
- Separate employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms from other employees and send them home immediately. Restrict their access to the business until they have recovered.