Manufacturing Companies are getting ready to reopen. Some will reopen in full and some in part. Government is going allow this depending on the criticality of the Industry to the current situation and to the Country and its' peoples' existence.
Already the companies are working out Detailed safety Plans. There are several Power point files in circulation.
It would be good to approach this work much more systematically and at greater depth. The Risks have to be identified very carefully. It would be good to use a Tool to identifying all risks.
RIM Plan (RIM - Risk Identification and Mitigation)
Please look at this simple format.
Every Work activity at the Company would be a potential Hazard area.
I have read that in Germany a factory played a big role in spreading the virus in the initial time. In this factory the virus passed on from one employee to the other when the person passed a Salt dispenser. So a simple act of passing salt can spread the Virus! Such a simple act has become a Hazard now !
Methodology for each Function in the Company
Prepare RIM Plan: Each Function in the Company should prepare a RIM Plan as illustrated above and identify ALL activities that happen in the Function. Teams should not look for short cuts here. There can't be a lazy approach of identifying just some activities. Just an act of opening Door can be risky. A Coffee vending machine can dispense the Virus too if we don't take care.
Slow down: Teams need to slow down and identify every small activity. In the normal situation we may not pay attention to several small activities that we do as routine. It would be useful to ask the Team to write out a 'Micro SOP' that captures every small activity for one particular activity. This will slow them down and make them look at details. For many Team members, it is a struggle to slow down! Recognise that and help them to slow down!
It is good for the teams to Prepare the RIM Plan and then take it up for revision a few times before settling down.
Some Company Level Solutions:The Company should look for innovative solutions. We can already see videos of several Soap / Sanitizer dispensing solutions without touching the Dispenser. We are capable of solutions when the need comes!
There are some situations that can be given Solutions at the Company level. Look at the list below:
a) Opening Doors : You may encourage the employees to open the Door with Elbow instead of hand. You may simply keep more doors open to avoid this need!
b) Hand sanitising : Any solution like the above can be designed and make them available across the Company.
c) Handling Files : It would be good to ensure that a set of files are handled only by one individual. It would be good to prepare a few more files if the next person has to use them too. Any way the Digitalisation agenda can be taken up now!
d) Using Computers / Laptops : Providing Disinfectant for everyone and specifying the frequency of cleaning can be from Central level.
e) Handling Company Gates : Again it would be good to limit the Gates that are being operated. Release one procedure for handling Gates.
There can be more such Solutions that can be given from a Central level.
Posters : After identifying all the Solutions, the Team can prepare Posters and display them at respective places. These Posters should have many Photographs. These Photographs should be Company specific and not downloaded from Internet. This is to ensure that someone tries it out practically on the ground before demanding that every employee should practice it!
Training: After preparing the Posters and Power Point files, the Employees need to be trained on the first day of operations starting. Every Company should devote good amount of time for this. We have to be aware of the fact that Employees have been working in the Company for years and they got used to working in a specific manner. It would require some effort to change their regular practices. We should not approach it like another Procedure ! It is unfortunate that many Companies do not have full adherence of Procedures already in place!!
System Auditors : For the first 2 months, all the Senior People should don the role of Auditors. In addition, few full time Auditors also may be identified who will be going around and identifying the Adherence and Adequacy issues. The Auditors can use the CC TV footage too to identify potential risk areas. The Auditors will identify the Potential risk and also implement a Solution.
Course Corrections: We should expect that we will not cover all Risks and we should expect that we need to improve the practices continuously. These Course Corrections have to be encouraged. We should not be under the false belief that we have set up a system and it will work well forever.
Videos : Videos of each new practice can be taken when the Employees are actually practicing it and use them for Training the employees.
E-Learning and Certification : It would be good to put together a simple course of having all the new practices, train the Employees using the E-Learning course and Certify them. This Certification may become the most important one in the Company!
It is important for Companies to take this effort seriously. This is a wonderful opportunity for companies to improve the Discipline in the Company. This effort has to be led from the top! If the Senior Management treats this effort as one more ISO efforts, then the Company may soon have COVID Positive cases and put its' employees and its' own Business to Risk!
How Seriously are you undertaking the Safety Practices implementation ??