Do you operate a factory? We suggest the following measures a factory could take once the lock-down is lifted. Please check with your experts before proceeding on these.
- Introduce constant sanitisation: All contact points such as door handles, desks, computer system (esp. key board, mouse), mobile devices, bio-metric access controls, machinery control panels, gauges, equipments, etc. should be sanitised continuously with a dedicated team of house keeping staff that is geared safely.
- Create zones: Factories to restrict movement of people inside the premises. People working in one department/assembly line should be restricted to operate on in their respective departments. This way unnecessary intermingling of workers can be avoided. In case of a virus contamination/spread, it will be easier to cordon off the department that is not affected.
- Practice equipment distancing: Factories need to also practice ‘equipment distancing’ wherever possible. Normally, to optimise the movement of workers, machinery/equipment would be placed close to each other. To encourage social distancing in factories, the management will also have to move equipments (small ones at least) around a bit accordingly and mark spaces where the worker would operate the equipment from.
- Offer company transportation: The factory should also arrange pick up and drop facility to the employees so that exposure in a public transportation can be avoided completely. Social distancing norms should be practiced even while people commute in the company-arranged vehicle. Employees should be asked to seat themselves in alternative seats (if not further apart) and wear masks throughout their travel.
- Ask for health declarations: Factories to introduce a self-declaration mechanism (online app) for each employee to declare his health condition on a daily basis. Employees reporting ill-health would be instantly advised to stay at home until recovery. Additionally, the factory could arrange temperature screening whenever employees enter and exit the factory.
- Provide PPEs: Appropriate personal protective equipment should be provided to employees/ shop floor workers. Typically PPEs would consist of masks and gloves. The employees would be required to wear these in addition to the regular safety wear (such as the helmet). Also, proper arrangements will have to be made for employees to dispose off the used masks and gloves.
- Stop worker assemblies: Factory management should withdraw water fountains, coffee vending machines from service. Safer alternatives to be made in this regard. Likewise, the canteen should also be closed and spaces earmarked — keeping social distance in mind — for people to have their food (that is prepared from home/trusted source).
- Avoid meetings comprising of large teams: Companies should ensure that no meeting is held that would require the presence of several employees. Small group of people meeting out of compulsion should seat themselves with a gap of 3 feet at least. Companies can also encourage video conferencing even if all the employees are present within the same campus.
- Create isolation rooms: Factories should as a precaution set up isolation rooms. This will come in handy when an employee reports/shows symptoms of being unwell. While the management takes steps to address the issue, the affected employee may be asked to wait in the isolation room. Likewise, the company should also trace other employees who would have come in the vicinity of the affected employees and isolate them as well. Of course, as an abundant precaution, the entire unit may have to isolated and the place sanitised.
- Use digital communication methods: Physical circulation of internal communication/memos should be stopped. Factories should instead use digital tools – email, SMS, instant messengers, etc – to communicate with staff, supervisors, management and others. On the shop floor, announcements should be made via public address systems instead of asking people to congregate in one place.
We think that the above suggestions need to be followed as a regular feature in factories and other work places – not just for now. Please do consult your experts on the steps most suitable for your factory.
Experts are of the view, that severe virus attacks can be expected in the future as well and may hit us often. We certainly wish, hope and pray that they are wrong!
If you need further help in setting up a clean environment in your factory, please do visit our website, www.consultiger.com and register. You may also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be able to connect you to experts who can help you in this connection.
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