The days of shaking hands and giving high fives seems like decades ago. Today, everyone’s actions are driven by concerns of health and safety. While many have transitioned to working from home, a large group has remained actively working from wherever their jobs require them, in hospitals, grocery stores, delivering mail, and of course, preparing essential products in manufacturing floors.
This drives the question of how we ensure the same levels of health and safety for these employees who are forced to gather in common areas. Is it possible to provide clean and comfortable spaces while they work? In this article we cover clear steps that can be taken to protect those manufacturing employees.
Personal Protective Equipment
One of the first changes to be made is to ensure each employee is wearing proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Due to the fact that COVID-19 is spread through virally transmitted droplets, equipment such as masks, face shields, and even gloves are essential.
Masks are a hot topic in the media, as people discover which types are most effective, or if certain coverings are even effective at all; however, research has shown that mask wearing does reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. In order to properly wear a mask, you should make sure it fits snugly against your face and covers both your nose and mouth.
The second PPE to consider is face shields. While face shields aren’t necessarily a recommended replacement for masks, they can certainly be used in addition to masks and in settings where other factors play a role in personal safety. Complete Automation Resource offers shields that attach easily to both hard hats and bump shields. The shields are made from a clear, polycarbonate that allows for easy visibility, and comes with a peel-off protective layer to prevent scratches during transit. Tyson Fresh Meats is just one of the companies that has taken the step to protect their employees by already implementing more than 30,000 C.A.R. face shields throughout their facilities in June, with plans to continue distributing face shields throughout the rest of their plants.
Lastly, gloves are important and effective when properly worn and disposed. Remember, it is important to not touch anywhere near your face while wearing the gloves, and to properly discard the gloves before touching any of your personal belongings. After removing the gloves, your hands should be thoroughly washed and sanitized.
Once PPE is in place, distancing is another crucial step to take on your manufacturing floors. Per CDC guidelines, everyone must be 6ft apart in the workplace, but when that is not possible or an added layer of protection is desired, workplace separation panels are important to minimize human contact. Plexiglass and acrylic dividers have been common solutions, but other options like BUILT System’s steel-paneled workstation dividers are economic alternatives that can withstand frequent cleaning and disinfecting. Different solutions will work best for different companies, so finding and taking precautionary measures that work for you is important in protecting your employees.
Integrating automation solutions into production lines may seem like an unconventional solution for health and safety; however, many of these automated systems actually provide a method for less human to human contact during a shift.
Automated Guided Carts, for example, are wireless, self-driving carts that tow bins holding up to 1 ton of parts from station to station. They prevent the potential virus spread by removing the human element otherwise needed in transporting items. Our AGC technology had been adapted on a customer to customer basis to meet individual needs and can be customized for your unique manufacturing facility when you choose to automate.
Invest in Long-Term Solutions
Ultimately, the safety protocols being implemented now may be here to stay even after COVID-19 is gone. Investing in your employees and their health is valuable, whether the world is living in a titled pandemic or not.
But you don’t have to face this alone. Complete Automation Resource is committed to help keep your workers safe during the manufacturing process. Whether you are looking for PPE face shields or larger solutions, such as automating manufacturing, contact Complete Automation Resource. We are here to help you invest in both safety and efficiency.