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Covid-19 | Factory Reopening Checklist

Use checklists to plan the reopening of your factory in a structured and efficient way.

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The reopening of a factory in the Corona pandemic

After the easing of restrictions on the freedom of movement of people and business operations, the factories are now slowly returning to normal operation. Since the threat of the coronavirus has not disappeared as long as no vaccine has proven its worth, it must be ensured that the employees are protected against new risks in the workplace.

Factory reopening checklists help companies to implement necessary hygiene and safety measures quickly and consistently - even after reopening. With their support, those responsible can easily check whether all measures have been implemented and adhered. In this way, companies can more easily minimize the risk of infection for employees.

This article deals with the following topics:

1. Possible hygiene and safety measures in a factory

2. A digital tool for the implementation of hygiene and safety measures in factories

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Hygiene and safety measures for a factory

The corona pandemic and the associated lockdown caused significant disruption to normal day-to-day operations in factories and other operations involved in the supply chain of several industries worldwide. The factory was suffering from a shortage of workers as they had to stay at home and limit physical contact outdoors to contain the spread of COVID-19. Now that factory operations are being resumed, and workers are going back to work, new hygiene and safety measures must be implemented to ensure the safe operation of the factories.

State health authorities and local industry associations have issued guidelines for reopening factories in the Corona pandemic to help companies and employers protect their employees from COVID-19 at work. Employers, employees and their business partners benefit from the hygiene and protection measures for plants by reducing the risk of infection and resulting in less downtime and delays in business operations due to infection.

The following five aspects are the most important ones for employers and employees if they want to keep their Corona plant free after reopening:

1. Perform a risk assessment

Prior to reopening a factory, a competent employee should be assigned to conduct a risk assessment in the factory to identify COVID-19 risks and other problems and develop appropriate controls. Another risk that exists when a plant is reopened after the corona lockdown is legionnaires' disease caused by the legionella bacteria. Facilities that have not been in operation for some time may have stagnant water in pipes and should therefore also consider a risk assessment for Legionella before reopening.

2. Introduce workplace controls

Once the risks have been identified, administrative or technical controls should be introduced in the factory, which can take the following form:

  1. Technical controls, such as changing workstations so that employees can maintain a physical distance of at least 1.5 metres between them.

  2. Administrative controls can be implemented to prevent the coronavirus from spreading among employees in shared rooms. One example is the staggering of shifts and breaks so that the number of employees who gather in common rooms is limited.

  3. The correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE) should be ensured by training and instructing personnel in the containment of the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace using PPE and proper hand hygiene. Signs and information notices can raise awareness.

3. cleaning and disinfection of workplaces

Even before reopening, every factory had proven cleaning and disinfection methods. In the Corona pandemic, factory workers are encouraged to regularly clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched to protect themselves and their colleagues. Cleaning personnel should wear appropriate PPE to protect against COVID-19 and exposure to detergents and disinfectants.

4. Monitoring of measures and health

Employers must monitor the implementation of hygiene and safety measures to avoid the risk of infection among workers. This is not only dangerous for their health but also hurts business. Therefore, company managers should develop a plan for regular inspections to check that all precautionary measures are continuously observed.

All employees who report for work should go through a screening procedure before entering the facility. Monitoring of employee temperature and a health check with a query of COVID-19 symptoms can help to contain the spread of the virus in the factory.

5. Always stay up to date

Employers should regularly inform themselves about new findings or recommendations by governmental authorities to take precautionary measures against the pandemic. The hygiene and safety measures may have to be adapted to new directives time and again. Appointing a hygiene and safety officer or team can facilitate the procedure.

A digital tool helps with the reopening in the corona pandemic

Companies seeking to return to normal operations while minimising health risks in their factories can use a digital tool like Lumiform to ensure that all workers are protected and operations are maintained.

Digital checklists for inspections and audits are easier to handle than paper lists. The implementation, monitoring and updating of measures is easier with the mobile app from Lumiform. Every hygiene and safety inspection can be carried out by tablet or smartphone on site - online or offline. All data is immediately available to the entire occupational safety team. In this way, problems can be detected and corrected immediately.

With Lumiform, companies benefit from the following advantages when reopening their factories:

  • With the flexible modular form system adaptable checklists for all hygiene and safety measures can be created.
  • The digital platform enables easy collaboration between all responsible parties to solve problems immediately and develop efficient strategies.
  • Real-time data about the implementation of the measures. This makes security measurable and processes can be continuously optimized on the basis of data.
  • Keeping track of everything that happens in the factory after it reopens.
  • Share automatically generated reports immediately with the responsible persons and save the complete time for the post-processing.

We have put together some checklists that can be used to implement and monitor the hygiene and safety measures in a factory before and after reopening to protect workers from COVID-19. All templates can easily be adapted to internal company requirements and regional guidelines of state authorities.

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