Local Best Practices with Contacts
Weatherflow, David St. John
We are a small operation (~45 employees nationwide, ~15 in Volusia County) compared to most of the manufacturers in Volusia, so this may not apply to others, but here's what we were doing before the stay-at-home order. We will likely return to this as soon as that order is lifted.
Fortunately, most of WeatherFlow's employees were already able to work from home and do not interface with the public in person on a regular basis. We have asked anyone who can work from home to do so until further notice. We are using a variety of online collaboration tools, which most of us were already comfortable with.
We also operate a maintenance crew of 5 people and a small production facility that employs 7 people - all of whom need to be present to do their work. We have asked everyone who needs to show up to do their job to agree to agree and sign the attached "COVID-19 Best Practices Agreement". There are really three purposes to this document: (1) to keep our staff and customers safe while we continue to operate, (2) to do our part toward limiting the spread of the virus and "flatten the curve" of infection and (3) to be prepared for any government or industry rules & regs that are likely coming down the pipeline.
While we're mostly winging it here, many of these simple practices were informed by and borrowed from what manufacturers in China are doing. When followed, it's as good as "shutting down" in terms of limiting the spread. We have a manufacturing partner in Shenzhen and their operation was shut down for about three weeks following the Chinese New Year and the initial outbreak. However, they have been back up and running for several weeks now, and should be back to full capacity by the end of the month.
We have a small facility with 10 employees on the plant floor.
Protocols we have implemented:
- We take employee's temperatures as they arrive at work (ordered an instant read thermometer from Amazon - cost $99.00)
- Instructed employees if they are sick not to come to work and if they feel they have the virus to get tested and alert the office that they are getting tested ( posted and gave out instructions on who to contact to get tested)
- Set up work carts for each employee, includes all their tools and supplies and also includes bottle of hand sanitizer (Go Klean in DeLand has the sanitizer by the gallon) eliminates sharing of tools and cross contamination
- Work stations have always been 6 feet apart - so didn't need to reorganize plant floor
- If employees need to be closer than 6 feet, face masks are mandatory (ended up making some cloth masks since our suppliers don't have any N95s)
We did not close, however here are some of our precautions:
- Promoting social distancing: we follow the CDC guidelines that people keep 6 feet distance when they talk and even some things are being rearranged in the plant to accommodate others working 6 feet from one another if possible. As this may become the new normal, any steps you take now to spread areas out will likely be good for the future too.
- Providing protection supplies such as soap and water, hand sanitizer, Lysol, bleach and paper products for use by employees.
- Reinforcing key messages – stay home when sick, use cough and sneeze etiquette, and practice hand hygiene. Placing posters in areas where they are most likely to be seen.
- Asking Managers and Supervisors to assist in enhanced environmental cleaning of commonly touched surfaces, such as workstations, countertops, railings, door handles and doorknobs.
- Suspending travel, training events, customer and vendor meetings. Restricting most meetings to teleconference.
- Actively requiring sick employees to stay home until they are free of fever for at least 24 hours.
- Encouraging employees to setup Telehealth Physician apps to speak with their physicians. Remember the CDC is strongly urging people to seek Telehealth Physician’s advice first. They will refer you to a doctor, if you need to go.
- Educating our Managers to answer questions regarding pay and benefits.
- Modifying business processes to adapt to this changing environment.
- Collaborating with Cigna Life Assistance Program (LAP) to cope with the anxiety surrounding COVID-19. Dial 1-800-538-3543, press three.
- We have 6 foot lines marked by the time clocks to prevent crowding.
- Provide alcohol wipes for the finger print time clock. (allowing other employees to use mobile apps to punch in and out)
- Request all managers to remind employees to socially distance
- Conducting virtual meetings rather in person
- Promoting work from home whenever possible.
Victor Nadeau, Metra Electronics:
Below is what we have been doing to maintain safety for our employees and customers.
- Every person, employee or visitor must have their temperature taken and wash their hands at the wash stations we have setup before entering the premises. If they are an employee, they are given a sticker that goes on their identification badge with the date on it. The color of that sticker changes daily and is mixed up. If they are a visitor they are just given a sticker and asked to place it on their shirt in a visible location. If you leave premises and return the same day, you cannot re-enter without washing your hands. Security enforces the badge process. Gates and doors are locked, you cannot enter without going through the process.
- All common areas touched such as door handles, bathrooms, the break kitchenettes, coffee machines, etc. are sprayed and cleaned with sanitizer spray approximately 3-4 times a day.
- No food deliveries can be made inside the building, they must arrange to meet the employee outside by the guard for the exchange. Again, they must wash their hands before re-entering the building.
- 6’ Social distancing is strongly enforced, meaning employees workstations and desks are at least that distance apart. It is impossible to always maintain the 6’ but it is encouraged to do so AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Employees caught gathering, hallways meetings, or blatantly ignore the rules will be warned, if it continues they will be sent home without pay. Signs are up EVERYWHERE to remind people throughout the entire complex.
- If employees choose they can wear masks, we do provide them if they cannot procure one themselves.
- If any employee is exposed to a Covid-19 positive individual, they are required to be tested and must quarantine for 14 days or until the results come back. A doctors note is required.
- If any employee has a cough or Covid-19 type symptoms, they are to report immediately to the Director of Safety and in most cases will be required to have a test and a doctors note to return.
- If any employee has travelled to a Covid-19 hot spot, they will be required to quarantine for 14 days to return to work.
- Hand sanitizing stations are setup throughout the complex.
BellowsTech has been open as an essential business throughout this crisis. Below is what we have instituted in the workplace:
- Cleaning procedure/schedule to clean workspaces and common areas multiple times/day.
- Hand sanitizer stationed throughout the building
- Adhere to safe distancing
- Wear masks at all times inside our building
- Avoid meetings/gatherings – use web-based software for meetings if possible
- Only employees enter our building
- We set up a station outside for deliveries (UPS, FEDEX, etc.) to be dropped off and picked up. When a package is delivered, we spray it with an alcohol solution and wait a few minutes to open. We take the outer packaging directly to the dumpster and carefully (with gloved hands) take the inner package inside. Delivery companies have waived using the signature pad so you do not need to touch their device.