Next Steps for Factory COVID-19 Safety

Many manufacturers, big and small, are in the “critical industry” space. After all, supply chains include facilities that produce food and medications and protective gear and cleaning supplies — and all the packaging, labeling, and other support for all of those products.

If you fall into that group, you’re probably thankful that you have revenue and your workers are thankful that they have paychecks. But you don’t want anyone to choose between getting that paycheck and staying safe.

New guidance is available to help you keep your factory safe for workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Government guidance is available:

 Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

Additional tips and tricks

Here are some more steps being taken by facilities around the nation:

  • Check temperatures of associates as they arrive at work. Anyone with a temperature over 100 degrees should be sent home.
  • Stop using fingerprint scanners or other clock-in methods requiring multiple people to touch a surface. If you continue to use these devices, provide sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizers at the site.
  • Have office staff work from home. Sales, marketing, and other teams can work remotely, too.
  • If some administrative staff must work on site, put them in separate rooms. Conduct meetings with Zoom or other remote meeting software, even when you are all in the same building.
  • Separate workers. It is possible that a 6-foot distance between workers will become part of the new normal. We’ve also heard about companies that identify places where people tend to congregate, and use stickers or paint to alert workers to the possibility. That allows team members to avoid bottlenecks at these locations. Automated sensors can also help keep workers from ending up in the same place at the same time.
  • Adjust shift start, stop, and break times to minimize gathering in the break room or cafeteria.
  • Think about what surfaces can be eliminated or made no-touch. Automatic trash receptacles, for example, open lids without touching. Automatic doors are another option, or some facilities might be able to leave some doors open. Determine which of these ideas will be cost-effective and put them into place.
  • What kind of protective gear will help? Masks are in short supply, but smocks and gloves could make a difference.
  • Step up cleaning and disinfection schedules. Provide disinfectant wipes for staff to use as needed. Schedule sanitation breaks when everyone washes their hands and cleans their space.
  • If you need support or service for your Rexroth electric industrial drive and control systems, we can help. We have the largest stock of emergency replacement units in the nation.

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