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Factory Reopening Checklists

Return to seamless and safe factory operations with the help of these factory reopening checklists

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Published August 5th, 2020

Factory Reopening

Factories are adapting to evolving situations while the pandemic is ongoing. Some factories have reopened after restrictions were lifted on businesses and implemented some changes to stay operational. With the threat of coronavirus not going away until there is a proven pharmaceutical solution, factory operations should be aligned with government regulations that aim to ensure the safety of employees from new risks in the workplace.

Solution to Factory Operation Disruption

The latest pandemic caused a major disruption to the normal day-to-day operation of factories and other facilities involved in the supply chain of multiple industries worldwide. Factory operations suffered from a lack of manpower when factory employees needed to stay at home and limit physical contact outdoors to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Now that there is a resumption of factory operations and workers are going back to work, there are new guidelines in place to ensure that factories operate safely.

Guidelines for a Safe Return to Work in Factories

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have previosuly released a guidance for manufacturing workers and employers that supplement existing guidelines on how to help factories maintain safe and continued operations while mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Below are some highlights of the guidance that feature tips to be followed to ensure safety during factory reopening:

Conduct a Risk Assessment

Assign a competent employee to conduct a factory risk assessment to identify COVID-19 risks and other issues and come up with applicable controls. Another reported risk to consider for the safe reopening of facilities is Legionnaires’ disease caused by the Legionella bacteria. Facilities that were not in use for some time can have stagnant water and should consider taking steps to mitigate this health risk.

Implement Controls

Implement recommended controls that mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the factory. Controls can be in the form of the following:

  • Engineering controls such as changing the workstations so that employees can maintain physical distancing of (6 feet or approximately 2 meters away from each other).
  • Administrative controls can be implemented to help avoid the spread of COVID-19 among employees in a shared space. An example is to stagger scheduled breaks so that you can limit the number of employees who gather in common areas.
  • Correct use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can be reinforced by providing proper training and educating staff on how to control the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace with the use of PPE and other methods such as proper hand hygiene.

Cleaning and Disinfection

Factories already have existing cleaning and disinfection methods but factory workers are encouraged to be more aware of frequently touched surfaces so that they are cleaned and disinfected regularly. The cleaning staff should also wear proper PPE as protection from cleaning and disinfecting agents.

Screening and Monitoring

All employees who are reporting to work should go through a screening process before entering the facility. Monitoring employee temperature and being aware of COVID-19 symptoms can help control the spread of the virus in the factory.

The New Normal in Factories

Businesses that are striving to go back to normal operations while handling new health risks in factories can use all the help they can get in protecting all workers and staying operational. New inspection checklists created specifically to address new workplace risks can help employers maintain a safe and productive working environment. Feel free to review and download the free checklists we created to help with the reopening of factories.

 

Please note that these checklists, while created with the latest best practices in mind, provide basic information only and are not intended to take the place of medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should also seek your own professional advice to determine if the use of such checklists are permissible in your workplace or jurisdiction.

Author

Erick Brent Francisco

SafetyCulture staff writer

As a staff writer for SafetyCulture, Erick is interested in learning and sharing how technology can improve work processes and workplace safety. Prior to SafetyCulture, Erick worked in logistics, banking and financial services, and retail.