COVID-19 Employer Resource Guide
At the time of reading this, you and your teams are likely scrambling to figure out how to manage your entire workforce with all the changes to public health over the past several weeks. As we embark on this journey with our external teammates, we don’t have all the answers figured out. But, in this trying time, we believe we can come together and be a resource to help you provide a safer, better, and healthier workplace for all.
The current recommendations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to engage in social distancing. As the name implies, this means physically separating your staff as much as possible, with 6 feet as the recommended minimum distance. We recognize that this may seem extremely challenging in your warehouse. However, with some creativity, it’s possible. Take a moment to visualize your warehouse space. Where are the spaces that people aren’t currently working but still allow your optimized process to work? Once you have found those spaces, take a moment to visualize, or draw on a piece of paper, who you can place where. Using these tools to plan how you can separate your workforce is a great way to help keep everyone healthy.
Coach Your Teams on Proper Health Etiquette
The novel coronavirus is spread through respiratory droplets. Droplets mean that the disease is spread through coughing, sneezing, dripping, or exhaling the specific virus strand. When working in a warehouse with hundreds of people in close contact, keeping people from coughing and sneezing is an extremely difficult task that won’t have success regulating. To help employees prevent spread, coach them to covering mouths when coughing, and sneezing directly into their shirts, arm, or elbow.
While covering for coughs and sneezing is a great first step, that is not enough. Leaders must train employees not to touch their eyes, nose, and face in any way. Touching one’s face is one of the quickest ways to contract COVID-19. Leaders should allow for frequent hand washing breaks and give employees access to hand sanitizer. Lastly, employees should be mandated to clean hands when leaving their station for the day, while wiping down and sanitizing anything touched during their shift.
Clean Packages and Equipment
With so many employees working at once, coaching on proper health etiquette is essential, but there will still be cracks. If possible, think of how you can add a team member or station at the end of your process to ensure all packages are disinfected prior to leaving the facility. You can have employees wear gloves, but after touching many packages, boxes, or items, the gloves are likely to have been exposed to potential viruses. With that said, employees should change gloves frequently and attempt to sanitize packages as best as they can prior to items leaving the facility.
COVID-19 can live on surfaces for long periods of time, as stated here by the National Institute of Health (NIH): “The scientists found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.” This means frequent cleaning of equipment that employees frequently touch such as forklifts, scanners, tape, door handles, and pallet jacks — to name a few — is an essential piece to safety. The frequent cleaning of these heavily touched surfaces will keep employees from touching their faces, or someone else, and causing unintended spread.
A lot of software solutions are offering extended free trials or free versions to help teams accommodate the need for their solution during the Coronavirus spread. What are some potential software your teams can use?
- Messaging platforms like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Skype can minimize time teams spend face-to-face.
- Utilize video conferencing to help professional teams, along with warehouse staff, keep in touch with one another without breaking social distancing protocol.
- Digital note taking platforms like Microsoft OneNote can be used to share out important information at a large scale from remote locations.
We recognize the difficulty in implementing large scale safety measures as quickly as possible. Here at Morales Group we want to be your partner in helping you execute a safe and healthy work environment for all. If there is any way we can band together during this crisis, please reach out so that we can offer our assistance to you and your teams.
Looking for a list of available resources? Find that, here.