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Staying On Top of Your COVID Safety Processes

I recently watched a LEAN Enterprise Institute video on Safe, Smart Steps for Restarting Production. The presenters from GE Appliance and Herman Miller Performance provided a range of tactics on employee safety from curtains between assembly persons to installing thermal cameras to test temperatures of employees entering the plant.

As various regions across the state establish monitoring procedures of businesses, we all need to make sure we’re doing our part to flatten this curve. Not every SME can afford something as high-tech as thermal cameras, but the video did provide some more practical applications to help ensure the continued safety of employees.

  • Create barriers on the line by incorporating start and stop points of where work is conducted. This should include clearly marking where employees should and shouldn’t be within their work space. Take into consideration efforts to protect supervisors and/or runners who may need to closely interact with employees on a line.

  • Masks are not optional. Allow employees the option of wearing their own mask that makes them comfortable in the workplace. Like shoes, they’re not a one size fits all. The less time an employee has to struggle with an uncomfortable face mask, the more productive they can be.

  • Implement cleaning protocols to clean and disinfect work stations at every rotation and end of shift. The Centers for Disease Control provides a thorough overview of steps to take for your facility. Don’t forget your break rooms and bathrooms.

  • Check your HVAC units. Are air filters replaced regularly? Use fresh air ventilation where available (i.e., open windows).

Companies should continuously observe the strategies implemented to evaluate if they are providing a safe environment for employees. This is a fluid pandemic that continues to evolve and change by the week which means companies need to do the same.

Additional Resources:

CDC Manufacturing Workers and Employers

Ford Motor Company Return to Work Manufacturing Playbook

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