Social distancing and preventative measures in the manufacturing industry

Posted 7/4/2020 by Danielle Robyn

For key workers in the manufacturing industry, social distancing and avoiding the spread of Covid-19 is a strong concern. Whilst in F&B factories, hygiene is already one of the highest priorities, these unprecedented times bring new challenges to permanent staff and contractors nationwide.

Although the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) advises that no more than 50 people should be in one place, the UK government has not clearly outlined to manufacturers what should be done to continue critical production services whilst maintaining social distancing of 2 metres between people.

 

Here are five ideas on how manufacturing facilities can reduce the transmission of diseases in a busy factory environment.    

 

1. Educate employees

It’s crucial to continue reminding employees to keep 2 metres apart at all times. Employees should be responsible for enforcing social distancing, management should be notified if there are cases of non-conformance.

Communication is key during this period but instead of having group meetings, utilise email, social media and texts to keep employees updated on your rules and safety measures.

Take cautions and ensure all team members are able to recognise and report symptoms. Any workers with symptoms must be sent home immediately for a minimum of two weeks self-isolation.

 

2. Separate areas

Taping squares on the floor and drawing 2 metre zones will not only help remind employees of the social distancing rule, but it will help them identify where they can and cannot go

Visual signs dotted across the factory will also help employees to keep the 2-metre distancing rule front-of-mind.

Using additional doors and exits from area to area will reduce the congregation of people and help keep employees distanced.

Separating chairs and tables will also help to stop gatherings in lunchrooms, lobbies and corridors.

 

3. Provide PPE

All employees should have access to their own personal protective equipment to keep them safe including gloves and masks.

Work related equipment should not be used by numerous people where possible. Instead, employees should be given their own equipment e.g. pens, cleaning utensils, tools etc which only they are allowed to use. This is to reduce the likelihood of coronavirus being passed from one person to another from equipment.

 

4. Prioritise sanitisation

Ensure that all staff have access to disinfectant wipes, cleaning supplies and hand sanitiser.

Equipment should be wiped down frequently and additional breaks for employees to wash their hands should be introduced.

No touch hand sanitiser dispensers are best utilised in high traffic areas and areas where contact is likely e.g. keypads, touch screens etc.

Leaving doors open where possible will help reduce the number of surfaces employees touch and transfer germs. 

 

5. Stagger breaks

To reduce the amount of people together at any given time, staggering breaks and shift patterns can help reduce usually concentrated areas such as lunchrooms and manual packing lines.

Although this can be a logistical nightmare during high demand periods, this can significantly reduce the spread of the disease and protect your workforce.

 

Remember that practicing good social distancing and proper sanitisation is proven to limit the spread of the virus. Many manufacturers are now hiring temporary contractors to ensure demand is met, with the majority opting to use local contractors, to minimise travel time.

If you require temporary local experts in engineering and manufacturing, get in touch with the Synergi team today.

 

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