Canada’s manufacturing sector has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to CBC News, Ontario alone has lost more than 31,000 jobs as a result in the drop in output – a difficult hit to an industry already experiencing a decrease in output since last July.
The good news is, in a survey conducted by the Canadian Association of Mold Makers’ (CAMM) more than half of Ontario manufacturers surveyed predicted they’ll be at over 90% of full operations by the end of the week. Hopefully this positive trend will soon extend further across the country. While it may feel like re-opening can’t come soon enough, there are a lot of considerations that come into play. Before production resumes in full, consider a variety of new measures to protect your teams:
- Screen before employees return to work. Toyota Canada has taken this approach, surveying employees about possible symptoms and past travel while they’re still at home. When back to work, employees will be required to use hand sanitizer, wear masks and have their temperature taken before starting their shift.
- Map out physical distancing. Before reopening, consider how to increase the space between workers to allow for physical distancing. Limit the number of employees working at a time. This week, all manufacturing companies in Quebec were given permission to reopen, but fewer than 50 people can be working at the same time. This could be accomplished through split shifts and having administrative employees continue to work from home.
- Introduce additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Over 40% of CAMM’s survey respondents said they don’t have adequate PPE in their workplaces for re-opening. As supply begins to catch up with demand, it will be critically important for facilities to provide equipment such as masks and gloves to help keep their employees healthy and safe.
- Introduce new cleaning protocols throughout the facility. Standard cleaning should be enhanced throughout the facility and completed multiple times each day. Ensure both cleaning and disinfecting is included, paying special attention to common touch points such as door handles. Pause periodically to allow equipment to be disinfected between shifts and after breaks. Stagger break times to limit the number of people in breakrooms and ensure these areas are cleaned and disinfected after each break.
Cleaning and disinfecting is a business-critical priority to keep employees safe and productive. It not only demonstrates your commitment to their health and well-being, but will help to alleviate concerns they may have about returning to work. Contact us to talk to one of our experts about supplies, training and support to help get your facility back on track.