The coronavirus (Coronavirus Action Plan) outbreak has impacted businesses across a variety of industries, forcing them to rethink their daily operations to ensure the safety of their employees and the general public. This situation no different for manufacturing firms, where multiple workers may be on the job floor or in a production line at any given time. In these instances, just one misstep can lead to the quick spread of COVID-19, jeopardizing the well-being of workers.
To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard your staff, CoverLink Insurance has created a standardized Coronavirus Action Plan COVID-19. This plan, which is based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidance, highlights responsibilities of managers and employees, job site safety measures and OSHA recordkeeping considerations. While there may be worksite-specific considerations to keep in mind, this action plan includes general strategies that your company officials and employees can use to address COVID-19 concerns and remain safe on the job.
Responsibilities for Apply Coronavirus Action Plan
When it comes to ensuring a safe job site during the Coronavirus Action Plan (COVID-19) outbreak, both managers and employees have their role to play. The following is a breakdown of the responsibilities for leadership and staff.
Managers and Supervisors
Leadership, including managers and supervisors, should familiarize themselves with the details of the action plan. Above all, leadership must be prepared to answer questions from employees and set a good example by adhering to the guidance prescribed in the plan, which includes practicing social distancing and good personal hygiene.
Employees play a critical role in your business’s COVID-19 prevention efforts. To protect everyone on the worksite, there are a number of best practices employees should follow:
- Understand the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and stay home if you’re feeling sick—Any employee who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, chills or fatigue) should stay home. Individuals experiencing such symptoms should also be instructed to consult guidance from the CDC on seeking medical care.
- Practice good hygiene—Employees should clean their hands often, either with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water. Hand sanitizers should contain at least 60%-95% alcohol, and employees should wash their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds. In addition, employees should avoid touching their face and cough into their arm.
- Practice social distancing—Social distancing is the practice of deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. In terms of COVID-19, social distancing best practices for employees can include:
- Avoiding gatherings of 10 or more people
- Keeping at least 6 feet of distance from other people
- Hosting meetings virtually when possible
- Working from home when possible
- Refraining from shaking hands
- Refraining from sharing tools and personal protective equipment (PPE)
Pandemic Response Team
The pandemic response team is a cross-functional team that recommends and oversees workplace protocols to control the spread of COVID-19. The team will include the following roles:
- Plant manager—is responsible for the plant’s overall action plan and is responsible for working with company stakeholders and relevant health and safety bodies to manage this action plan.
- Virus prevention and protocols lead—is responsible for recommending and developing protocols to ensure the wellness of all employees. They are also tasked with overseeing procedures for isolating employees should they become sick at work.
- Sanitization and disinfection lead—manages logistics related to daily and periodic sanitation and disinfection efforts. Their responsibilities include ensuring that routine cleanings are completed and that the necessary cleaning supplies are readily available.
- Communication lead—is tasked with managing any and all pandemic-related communications. They will work with human resources and internal communication stakeholders to ensure COVID-19 training is completed and that employees and their managers understand their role in preventing the spread of the disease and will provide COVID-19 related updates on a regular basis and as needed.
Plant Operation Protocols
In order to keep staff safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19, you should require the following workplace protective measures:
Social Distancing Protocols
Employees should be asked to follow social distancing best practices throughout the facilities, including, but not limited to, production lines, cafeterias, common areas and office spaces. Specifically, employees should be asked to:
- Stay 6 feet away from others when working or on breaks. Where a minimum distance cannot be maintained, engineering or administrative controls will be in place.
- Avoid job tasks that require face-to-face work with others where possible. If this is unavoidable, employees will be provided with face masks, face shields, physical barriers and other workplace controls to ensure their safety.
- Avoid contact with others whenever possible (e.g., handshakes).
- Avoid touching surfaces that may have been touched by others where possible.
- Distance themselves from anyone who appears to be sick.
- Avoid gathering when entering and exiting the facility. Employees should also only enter and exit designated areas.
- Follow any posted signage regarding COVID-19 social distancing practices.
- Stay within any marked boundaries when working on conveyor lines or on the production floor. Consider utilizing production transfer aids (e.g., inclined shelves or push boards) to minimize the risk of social-distancing concerns.
- Disinfect their workspace often.
- Avoid touching their face.
- Avoid nonessential gatherings.
General Safety Policies
- Employees and visitors who exhibit signs or symptoms of COVID-19 should be asked to leave the plant.
- Employees should stagger lunches to limit the number of individuals congregating in break areas. Consider dividing crews to reduce the number of workers in the workplace at any given time.
- Provide access to handwashing stations and alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
- Employees should refrain from sharing tools and equipment. In instances where this is unavoidable, provide alcohol-based wipes and other cleaning materials that employees can use to clean tools and equipment.
- Employees should be asked to avoid using common areas.
- Suspend normal visitation to your facilities until further notice. For business-critical visits (e.g., material deliveries), take steps to safeguard employees and visitors by:
- Requiring visitors to go directly to their assigned work area without unnecessarily interacting with employees.
- Requiring visitors to practice social distancing and good hygiene while on-site.
- Where possible, meetings should be conducted virtually or via telephone. For in-person meetings, participants should be limited to groups of 10, and employees will be asked to remain 6 feet apart.
- Screen workplace visitors. Supervisors may need to ask targeted questions to visitors regarding their current health before they enter the workplace. If they answer yes to the following questions, supervisors should ask them to leave the plant:
- Have you been in contact with a person who has tested positive or is in the process of being tested for COVID-19?
- Have you or anyone you’ve been in contact with traveled outside of the United States recently?
- Has a medical professional told you to self-quarantine?
- Are you having trouble breathing, or have you had flu-like symptoms within the past 72 hours (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, chills or fatigue)?
- Deliveries can be permitted, but should be completed with social distancing best practices in mind.
Personal Protective Equipment
- In addition to standard personal protective equipment (PPE), you should provide:
- Gloves—Employees may contract coronavirus action plan by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching their face. Gloves are an effective way to prevent COVID-19 from getting on an employee’s skin. They are also a good reminder for employees not to touch their face.
- Face shields, face masks and eye protection—Viruses can be transmitted through the eyes and mouth via tiny viral particles known as aerosols. Face shields, face masks and eye protection can help protect employees from these particles.
- Employees should use PPE as directed by your business to protect themselves from COVID-19 effectively.
Plant Cleaning & Disinfecting added value for Coronavirus Action Plan
- Surfaces and equipment should be disinfected at the end of each shift, before and after use, or—for frequently touched items—multiple times a day. Items included in sanitation procedures can include:
- Tools and equipment
- Screens on plant floors
- Cafeterias and tableware
- Common areas
- Computer screens and keyboards
- Conveyor belts
- Transport vehicles
- Floors and walls
- Vending machines
- Offices, desks and conference rooms
- Moveable trays and containers
- Door handles, equipment buttons and other frequently touched surfaces
- Employees responsible for cleaning should be given the appropriate PPE. Cleaning should be completed using CDC-recommended products, including:
- Environmental Protection Agency-registered household disinfectants
- Alcohol solutions with at least 60% alcohol
- Diluted household bleach solutions (if appropriate for the surface)
- Trash should be collected from the workplace regularly. Those collecting trash should be instructed to wear nitrile, latex or vinyl gloves.
- HVAC air filters should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
- Hand sanitizer dispensers should be refilled frequently.
- When an employee has tested positive for COVID-19, deep cleaning should be triggered and ensure areas in which the individual worked are cleaned thoroughly. In regard to deep-cleaning practices:
- Identify an approved external company to complete a deep cleaning of the facilities. This external company should be equipped with the proper training, PPE, permits and cleaning equipment to complete the task.
- The pandemic response team will coordinate and supervise deep-cleaning efforts to ensure:
- There is a specific plan and strategy in place, and that plan accounts for all machinery, equipment, common areas, tools and offices.
- Authorized individuals are the only ones allowed access to the site during the deep cleaning.
- Employees are aware of deep-cleaning practices.
- The company contracted to perform the deep cleaning uses the appropriate PPE during the process and disposes of potentially contaminated items properly.
Put response plans in place for situations where employees exhibit symptoms of, or test positive for, COVID-19.
Employee Exhibits Symptoms of COVID-19 Before Entering the Facility or on the Shop Floor
- The employee reports their symptoms to the line manager, who then communicates that an employee is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 to the relevant parties (e.g., human resources).
- The employee is given a face mask and gloves and is sent to a designated isolation room for further evaluation by the virus prevention and protocols lead or another designated individual. This evaluation will examine an employee’s symptoms in more detail, flagging employees who are experiencing the following:
- A fever of 100.4 F or higher
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- A cough
- A runny nose
- Muscle pain
- If COVID-19 symptoms are confirmed, employees may be asked to go home and speak with their health care provider. Ensure employees are able to get home safely before dismissing them. If, after an evaluation, the employee is not exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, they may return to work at the discretion of the virus prevention and protocols lead.
Self-Quarantining & Return to Work
Employees who test positive for COVID-19 or believe they have been infected should be instructed to follow the advice of a qualified medical professional and self-quarantine. When self-quarantining, employees should:
- Stay away from other people in their home as much as possible, staying in a separate room and using a separate bathroom if available.
- Not allow visitors.
- Wear a face mask if they have to be around people.
- Avoid sharing household items, including drinking cups, eating utensils, towels or bedding.
- Clean high-touch surfaces daily.
- Continue monitoring their symptoms, calling their health care provider if their condition worsens.
Notably, employees who are symptomatic or who have tested positive should not return to work until the conditions outlined in the table below are met:
- Employee was symptomatic but was not tested for COVID-19 and may return to work if:
- They have not had a fever for at least 72 hours, and have not used fever-reducing medication during that time.
- Coughs and other symptoms have improved.
- Seven days have passed since they first experienced symptoms.
- Employee was tested for COVID-19 and may return to work if:
- They no longer have a fever.
- Coughs and other symptoms have improved.
- They have received two negative COVID-19 tests in a row.
When an employee tests positive for COVID-19, deep-cleaning procedures should be triggered. Furthermore, employees who have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be instructed to self-quarantine.
OSHA Record-Keeping & Reporting
Be sure to adhere to OSHA-mandated requirements as they relate to recording and reporting certain work-related injuries and illnesses.
If you have any questions regarding the content of this action plan or how to get started with your business action plan, feel free to contact us. Furthermore, while the strategies highlighted in this document can protect workers from COVID-19, it’s important to follow CDC guidance at all times. For more information, click here.