While many manufacturers have been deemed essential and have remained open, there are many that still need to prepare for reopening. To ensure consistency in keeping you and your employees safe, this guide is intended to provide general guidelines and best practices for manufacturers looking to take steps to open their facility when it is time to do so.
Employee health and hygiene
- Set up onsite health screening at each entrance.
- Disallow employees with any COVID-19 symptoms to report to work.
- Stock up on soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and paper goods for employees to use.
- Set up no-touch waste receptacles.
- Train employees how to properly wash hands (soap and water for at least 20 seconds).
- Post hygiene and safety signs that remind employees about social distancing, hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette.
- Train employees about how to recognize potential risk and how to appropriately apply mitigation actions/strategies.
Cleaning and disinfecting
- Stock up on cleaning and disinfecting supplies.
- Clean dirty surfaces with soap and water first then disinfect.
- Deploy a dedicated team responsible to regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces throughout each shift (i.e. workstations, handrails, doorknobs, light switches, countertops and bathroom fixtures).
- Assign work tools/equipment to each individual and provide disinfecting supplies for them to prepare tools for others to use.
- Provide personal pens, markers and other routine work supplies for each individual.
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Provide personal protective equipment required for each role – perhaps distribute to individuals daily or weekly.
- Require face masks, cloth face coverings, face shields or goggles for all employees working in close proximity (within six feet) with others. ( Face coverings are not appropriate where masks or respirators are required.)
- Teach employees how to properly fit, wear and remove face masks and face coverings.
Social distancing and personnel movement in the facility
- Revise processes and workflows to create social distancing (six feet between individuals).
- Discourage personal contact (i.e. handshakes, hugs, fist bumps, high fives) or close conversations.
- Discourage hallway/water cooler interactions.
- Limit in-person meetings as much as possible.
- Use electronic communication devices such as wireless headphones for loud/ noisy areas and two-way radios for less noisy areas.
- Create new traffic patterns by using (i.e. make narrow hallways one-way only).
- Limit access to areas where people gather.
- Add automatic door or foot pulls to increase no-touch options for moving through the facility.
- Stagger workdays and start times if possible.
- Leverage technology to clock employees in and out (i.e. phone apps, web-based apps, or a camera).
- Provide social distancing markers and hand sanitizer in shift change areas.
- Sanitize between and during shifts.
Break rooms and locker rooms
- Arrange break rooms to accommodate social distancing.
- Stagger employee breaks.
- Enforce cleaning and disinfecting policies for employees during breaks (i.e. common surfaces they’ve touched during break).
- Suspend convenience services (i.e. coffee and vending).
- Repurpose empty spaces for additional break rooms or locker-room space.
Regularly communicate actions being taken to prevent COVID-19 exposure and procedural changes. Let your employees know just how their company is responding to state mandates and employee safety to boost morale and create a sense of comfort and community.