The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has been a nightmare for many industries all over the world, including having a devastating impact to many other aspects of our global community such as the economic, our societal, and the environmental.
Whether it be travel and tourism, consumption and trade, factories and warehouses have been critical during these trying times—especially as the need for effective e-Commerce services has sky-rocketed. As such, factory owners and managers are required to prepare for and prevent COVID-19 to the best of their abilities.
The most appropriate way of handling this is by taking strict measures in order to prevent it in the first place; whilst having an air-tight response-plan in the event of an infection within your workforce (which can have a game-changing effect on employee health (both mental and physical) and production disruptions.
Let’s take a look at the recommended guidelines for preventing COVID-19 in an industrial work place.
Guidelines for preventing COVID-19 in industrial work
These guidelines have been compiled from a number of authoritative sources, such as the World Health Organization (WHO). Let’s take a closer look:
1 – COVID-19 screening
- The first step is to establish both reactive and proactive measures by setting up screening points for COVID-19.
- Employees and visitors should also register with “Doctor Chana” before entering the factory area.
- Prepare and display signs in high-traffic areas informing COVID-19 prevention tips.
- Alcohol gels & hand washing points throughout the premises.
2 – Maintaining a good distance and creating a safer environment
- You should implement measures that require all employees maintain a distance of between 1-2 meters of other people, thus reducing the amount of interpersonal contact. This is especially important in common areas such as office spaces and cafeterias.
- You must also ensure that good ventilation management is a priority.
3 – Maintain strong personal hygiene
- It will also pay to prepare public relations materials for your employees, whilst providing sanitary facilities where workers can wash and change as necessary.
- Encourage employees, contractors, and all other visitors to wash their hands thoroughly and frequently, whilst wearing their masks at all times.
4 – Use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Make sure that all of your employees and guests are provided with adequate and appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment), such as masks, face-shields, PPE suits, gloves, show covers, and hand sanitizers.
- Offer PPE training & risk assessment
- Provide PR materials informing the proper use of personal protective equipment.
- You should also provide specific and clearly labelled trash cans for disposal.
5 – Cleaning and Disinfection of COVID-19
- All surfaces and materials should be cleaned and disinfected using the appropriate chemicals and disinfectants (particularly in production areas and frequently used surfaces – i.e., handrails and elevator buttons).
6 – Receiving, moving and transporting raw materials and products.
- Strict guidelines must be established and enforced for receiving, handling, and transporting raw materials (both at the source and final destination).
- Provide disinfectants for all transport vehicles.
- Drivers must be encouraged to wear masks and wash hands before and after receiving and/or delivering goods.
- Ensure all vehicles should be properly disinfected before leaving the factory and upon returning from their rounds (especially when changing drivers).
- All packaging should be properly sterilized before reuse.
7 – Cleaning clothes and covers.
- Uniforms, clothing, towels, and sheets etc. should be properly cleaned using hot water and detergent at 70°C for a minimum of 25 minutes, and dried thoroughly.
- All types of clothing and coverings that are prone to infection should be cleaned separately.
- Disinfect vehicles and containers used to transport clothing.
8 – Waste Management
- Delegate routine waste disposal tasks to employees and ensure that they are provided with all of the necessary equipment for safe and effective waste disposal (PPE).
- If in the event of a break-out in the factory, all of the identified infectious waste should be carefully collected, documented, and disposed of.
9 – Training and Communication
- Staff training is crucial, as is the communication of important information such as the various causes of infection, prevention tactics, and the dangers and impacts of the COVID-19 virus.
- Inform staff that their cooperation in maintaining personal hygiene and the appropriate social distancing measures is crucial for maintaining proper health & safety standards.
- Prepare and display simple educational documents around the premises to reinforce these standards.
- Observe and assess individual employee performance and retrain / discipline where necessary.
10 – Timeline Record Tracking
- One of the most effective ways of investigating and controlling the further spread of COVID-19 is by timeline recording and tracking. By reminding employees and keeping a track of all movements in and out of the factory (e.g., travelling to another location to meet with client / customer), informing and isolating any potentially infected becomes much easier.
11 – Separation of accommodation of important agencies (Lockup)
- Key departments and specialized units should be provided with separate living spaces, allowing them to continually operate production processes which cannot be carried out remotely or paused.
- Management should oversee the proper organization of travel, food, cleaning, etc.
- Adequate mental health care and support should be provided for employees.
- Implement efficient security systems to ensure that non-essential personnel are prohibited from entering / exiting.
- Have security at entrances and exits recording entry-times etc.
12 – Factory Quarantine
- If in the event there are a large number of confirmed cases in your factory, you should coordinate with the relevant government agencies urgently in order to implement the proper emergency response plan.
- Have a ‘business rehabilitation plan’ in place and expect the worst—that way you can be prepared for any eventuality.
- Whilst waiting for government intervention, ensure that proper quarantine measures are
If you follow the COVID-19 prevention guidelines provided, coupled with excellent management practices in accordance with current operations, then you should be able to experience business continuity.
With an airtight prevention and response system in place, then it will be possible to operate production continuously and safely, despite being in the midst of this epidemic situation.
We hope that you have found this information helpful. Good luck and stay safe.