Intertek Alchemy’s number one priority is ensuring that employees are engaged and working in a safe environment. With that in mind, we are sharing best practices for manufacturers still operating. You can also view them in their entirety in our recent webinar:
You know your work environment better than we do, so please tailor these recommended best practices and to your specific circumstances.
1. Maintain a Safe Training Environment with Social Distancing
If your facility is conducting group-based training in this time of social distancing, we can offer some tips for doing so safely.
- Can you reduce the amount of learners per session? Try only hosting six or ten people to allow you the CDC-recommended distance of 6 feet between learners.
- Can you change your training to a larger space to allocate more space between learners? If there is a larger area in your facility compared to your usual training spot, move your learning sessions into that one to once again practice social distancing.
You may also want to consider employing other solutions that enable your employees to train individually/on their own through a locked screen, with or without an internet connection.
2. Ensure that Your Employees are Competent and Compliant
Training your employees on key topics such as mitigating the spread of the coronavirus, effective hand washing techniques, and cleaning and sanitizing procedures is a critical step.
Review your current library. Are your courses up to date with new COVID-19 protocols such as: how to maintain proper social distancing, effective hand-washing protocols, personal hygiene, and cleaning and sanitizing procedures?
Make sure to communicate clearly with materials that reinforce training beyond the bounds of the classroom. We recommend using supervisor huddle guides, break room signage, and posters that promote critical hygiene practices to prevent the spread of viruses.
Helpful tip: For access to complimentary courses, huddle guides, break room signage, posters, and more, check out Intertek Alchemy’s Resource Page!
You’ll also want to ensure that the right practices are being followed on the floor, so create an observation plan that follows your COVID-19 curriculum. We of course recommend using a tool like Alchemy Coach to simplify the process!
And need help onboarding employees quickly? You may also want to consider enhancing your ability to train quickly train new employees on the job or cross-train them on new equipment with a mobile app such as Alchemy Playbook.
3. Keep your Training Environment Clean
Mitigating the spread of COVID-19 demands that you spend a lot of time cleaning and sanitizing. This can chew up a lot of time! With that in mind, make sure to avoid scheduling your training sessions back to back so that you have enough time between each one to sanitize the room and wash your hands.
Sanitize all of the high-touch areas in the room in addition to the tools you’re using:
device accessories: stylus, case, straps
any surfaces that are frequently touched during training like tables, chairs, and doorknobs
Remember to sanitize frequently throughout day – both before and after each training session.
A few more tips to keep in mind:
An effective sanitizer should be alcohol based, not bleach or acid based. In addition, different brands have varying saturation levels, so if your wipe is sopping wet, wring it out a little so that no drips or excess liquid gets into any crevices, buttons, keys or small parts of any tech tools that you’re using.
Make sure to wipe gently so as not to rub off numbers and VINs on remotes.
Take your time! Look around room—what other things should be sanitized between sessions? Common spots we referenced above include: door, knobs, cords, light switch, accessories and Allow yourself extra time and use it to really try and look at this from all angles during this very sensitive time.
Here is a list of effective sanitizing wipes with viricidal agents, like 70% isopropyl alcohol or CHG (chlorhexidine gluconate):
Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes (does not contain bleach)
4. Stay Informed
Check in with government websites, such as the CDC and/or FDA to stay informed. Many food processing and manufacturing industry sites, like EHS Today and Food Processing, have newsletters you can sign up for that contain daily briefings with up to the minute details.
You can also access Intertek Alchemy’s Community Connections LinkedIn group where companies are chiming in with best practice tips amidst this rapid change.