The new policies outlined by the government for companies open during the Covid-19 epidemic have made it challenging for manufacturing workers since they are so hands-on and ever-present on the factory floor. Non-manufacturing companies can simply ask their employees to work remotely to reduce the risk of transmission in the workplace. Remote working is off the table for the factory environment and some forms of social distancing are not applicable. Manufacturers, like the PTC, need to rely on other methods of keeping their workers’ exposure to each other at a minimum. Here’s a look at some of the guidance offered by world manufacturing organizations:
- Teach employees to distance themselves whenever possible.
- Have disinfectant wipes and cleaning supplies readily available.
- Have close-proximity workers wear safety masks.
- Stagger shifts to reduce the total number of employees in the factory at one time.
- Try to work with floor skeleton crews or reassign workers to isolative tasks.
- Reschedule non-critical services.
- Performed tasks on off-peak hours when possible.
The good news is, it can be done. And it is currently being done at the Polymers Technology Center. The building that is shared between the Polymers Center and the Polymer Technology Center have both offices, conference rooms and manufacturing space. To keep people safe, the two companies have implemented several measures. As per Amanda Nicholson, Injection Molding Manager, “We are asking guests to wear masks while in the facility and providing them with one if they don’t have one already. We have increased cleaning of frequently touched surfaces, making sure hand sanitizer is readily available in all areas of the building. We reduced our maximum occupancy to 25. We posted CDC flyers with the symptoms of Coronavirus and how we can reduce the risk of spreading it by washing our hands frequently, staying 6’ apart and wearing a mask. In additional, meetings have been moved to our classroom where tables are staggered to allow 6’ space for each person.”