The CDC has defined general guidelines that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19. To help share these with a larger audience, our friends at Argo Translation created an infographic that demonstrates the guidelines in 14 languages:
Written by Larry Bouvier, Vice President of Fuss & O'Neill Manufacturing Solutions.
As businesses and facilities begin to reopen, employee health and safety are paramount. Cleaning, proper distancing, and personal protective equipment have always been important safety precautions, but are now more important than ever. But it is important to remember that while employees are returning to work, facilities’ support equipment itself also needs to be brought back to work in a safe and thoughtful manner. An unused sink drain may weep noxious odors, cooling fans may have burnt out, and security gates might balk at opening easily. The health and safety of your building, and the systems that make it habitable, is important to the health and safety, not to mention comfort, of your employees. Prior to opening a facility, managers need to create checklists and inspect and test all machinery.
In these unprecedented times manufacturers require a more formal approach to hazard assessment and work practices than in the past.
I am receiving many questions on the Illinois Manufacturing Helpline about face covering and face mask use in manufacturing facilities. Some governing bodies are requiring face coverings and not providing clear definitions or specifications on what is considered a “face covering.” Add to this the fact that manufacturers must put in place a respiratory protection program if they require fitted respiratory protection such as N95s or half face or full face respirators (take a look at OSHA regulations around respiratory protection). So, what seems simple to do becomes a multi-layered set of decisions.
Respiratory Protection Programs are a little more complicated than other aspects of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for many employers. There are annual requirements for training and review. Now is a good time to consider the current state of your program and make some goals as needed to maintain and improve.
As the Illinois MEP, IMEC’s role is to be a resource for Illinois manufacturers and advocate best practices. Helping with strategy and creating systems to solve the challenges that these businesses face is our mission.
It remains our goal with today’s challenges. To that point IMEC, has created the Illinois Manufacturing Helpline and has been accepting questions 24/7 for the past week. It is our hope that some of these answers will save you precious time and assist with the challenges that you are facing.
Workers play a strong role in keeping themselves safe due to their willingness to take personal responsibility for decisions that will keep them safe. Safety training and policies are commonly used tools to help encourage risk-free behaviors through building safety knowledge. However, these practices alone will not be enough to create a complete safety culture.
This is a guest blog, written by Alec Alessandra, M.B.A, former John Deer Executive, former IMEC Board Member, and Senior Strategist of Strategic Impact Partners, and Robert Pojasek, Ph.D, Senior Strategist of Strategic Impact Partners.
Many small and medium-sized supplier organizations are receiving notices from their larger sourcing customers to implement a variety of different international standards at their facilities. These standards could include:
- ISO 9001: 2015 (for quality)
- ISO 14001: 2015 (for the environment)
- ISO 31000: 2018 (regarding risk management)
- ISO 45001: 2018 (covering health and safety)
- ISO 50001:2018 (covering energy management)
- The Ethical Trading Initiative Program
To highlight companies committed to the health and safety of employees, the State of Illinois introduced this year the Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety. With safety of highest importance in manufacturing, refining, and construction, this award will show who’s committed to protecting workers from avoidable, costly, and sometimes deadly injuries.