With the lockdown being partially lifted in India, factories and other manufacturing units have begun to slowly reopen since 20th April 2020. Reports from these worksites show that employers are apprehensive about every move as the Ministries of Home Affairs and Health have listed out stringent guidelines. The lack of effective protocols in place to tackle COVID-19 after restarting operations can open up the risk of the manufacturing unit being shut down for failure to adhere to compliance requirements.
In addition to disinfecting the workplace and taking other steps to mitigate health risks prior to reopening, here are some more measures you should seriously consider implementing.
Ensure daily temperature checks before entry
Even as workers wait in line to enter the site, a minimum of three feet, or one meter, distance should be maintained between individuals. Employers must assign security guards (equipped with safety gear) to take temperature readings using thermal guns. Any worker who shows even a slight variation from the normal body temperature must be sent home immediately and asked to self-isolate themselves for 14 days.
Mandate the regular use of sanitizers
Hand sanitizers should be used by each person at every entry point. Some factories are also taking it a step further and hosing down labourers with disinfectant before allowing them to begin work for the day. In addition to this, hand sanitizers should be made available for use in all common use areas within the work site.
Promote the proper use of PPEs
While the medical-grade masks and gloves need to be reserved for health workers, it is important to provide personal protection equipment (PPE) that are either reusable or safely disposable to all workers. Equally important is to then train them on safe and proper use of the PPEs.
Screen workers for respiratory ailments
Persons with respiratory ailments or other chronic illnesses may be at greater risk as COVID-19 affects the lungs. It is advisable to screen employees and limit the exposure of those who are identified to have such ailments.
Arrange for safe accommodation and transportation
In factories and manufacturing units, a majority of workers are migrant labourers coming from rural areas for livelihood opportunities. Generally, they are used to living in large groups with coworkers and commuting daily by public transport. Given the circumstances, these are risky practices and can rapidly cause the spread of the virus from one worker to another. Therefore, to the extent possible, it is advisable to arrange for safe accommodation and transport.
Monitor workers’ health progress
If a certain worker has been asked to leave the workplace due to reasons including high temperature, it is important to follow up with them regularly on their progress. In this way, the employer can alert authorities in case the employee begins showing symptoms of COVID-19 and also screen other workers to make sure there has been no transmission.
Provide psychological support
Concern over health, fear of losing job security and economic breakdown, restrictions to movement, and many more are the factors that have mentally weighed down multitudes around the world during the last couple of months. At such a time, going the extra mile to help workers and arranging counselling support would go a long way.
At CloudNow, we know that the manufacturing industry has already suffered a great deal due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. That’s why we have designed an incident tracking and workflow management tool (Akku) that will automate your new risk-mitigation workflows to ensure employee well-being and compliance, even as you focus on revving up operations and addressing business concerns. Get in touch with us to know more!