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Carolyn Powell

 Tags: Manuacturing

During this unusual time, we are all asking ourselves what the new normal will look like. What are some best practices to ramp up operations and get your manufacturing plants back to running at 100%? MacLean-Fogg recently was a guest speaker on a COVID-19 webinar with the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. They shared their best practices and newly implemented protocols. MacLean-Fogg partners with key customers to engineer, manufacture, and distribute products for the automotive and power utility marketplaces. Below are some of their ideas and techniques you might try at your own facility to keep everyone safe and get back up to full production.

MacLean-Fogg established crisis management teams to assist their operations and leadership teams in key areas. These teams met weekly to start as they created best practices and implementation strategies. Meetings then moved to biweekly to continually review and adjust their plans as needed

MacLean Fogg’s key steps to consider with some of their ideas and techniques:

Cleaning and Disinfection

  • Identify high touch areas and create a new checklist for disinfection protocols

Isolation Protocol

  • Identify symptoms to look for and establish action steps
  • Assign location/area for people showing symptoms
  • Establish protocol for informing others when someone has symptoms

Daily Self-Screening

  • Communicate self-monitoring process
  • Encourage people to stay home if they feel they may be infected. Follow up with that employee.
  • Establish a single point of entry into the building
  • Create visitor or contractor screening policy (limit non-critical visitors)
  • Identify a location for temperature screening at your facility with physical distance waiting
    >>> Some suggestions: Consider either a walk up or drive up location. Assess how to establish a no touch system. Consider a staff nurse on-site. Keep a screening log of employee numbers and if they were sent home or not. Do not log individual temperatures or symptoms to stay compliant with HIPPA requirements.

Plant Opening/Ramp-Up

  • Prepare: Create checklists. Evaluate equipment, common areas, and workstations. Review supply chain.
  • Action: Communicate and train employees. Identify new vendors and suppliers if needed.
  • Monitor: Audit and review. Consider community impact. Understand minimum requirements. Review conditions daily and establish new protocols. Consider employees with medical conditions, especially if your facility is hot and has PPE requirements.

Return to Work

  • Decide how and when to bring employees back to work. Communicate changes and training needed.
  • Consider how will you utilize technology going forward (work from home, Zoom meetings, etc.)

The presenter also took questions from those in the audience:

Q: Have you changed your floor layout and production setup?  A: Yes we have. If you can’t, consider plexiglass or shower curtain dividers between stations that can’t be separated.  Adjust your cafeteria seating and layout. Be careful when setting up these new barriers to maintain safe work areas and building exits.

Q: What happens when you send an employee home?  A: MacLean-Fogg is paying their employees for a 14-day isolation period

Q: Are you doing contact tracing?  A: Yes, for those testing positive.

Q: How long do you foresee these changes?  A: We are looking at these changes for the foreseeable future.

The presentation also includes photos, checklists, additional techniques, and a downloadable pdf to help you prepare for returning to work and ramping up. 

Additional Reopening Resources:

Are you looking to get your facility disinfected and ready for employees to return to work?  LeCHASE has partnered with AECC to provide decontamination and disinfection services.  Learn more here about their services and how they can assist you at your facility in Buffalo Niagara.  Click here for more information.

Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP has this piece on considerations for reopening, and how to specifically manage the mental aspects of employee anxiety. Click here for more information.

Listen to MacLean Fogg on their new protocols.

Watch BNP's Webinar
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Founded in 1999, Invest Buffalo Niagara represents the eight counties of Western New York. We are the region’s nonprofit, privately funded economic development organization focused on job creation.