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Protecting Your Workforce - Coronavirus workplace practices

Health Employees Sickness Crosscontamination Food manufacturing wellness

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#1 SPatterson

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 07:10 PM

Good afternoon everyone,

 

We are reviewing our workplace policy against the recent Coronavirus positive testings.  Areas of review are visitor sign-in information updates, sanitizer stations updates, altered sanitation focuses, work from home policies etc.

 

I am interested in knowing what other food manufacturers are doing around protecting your workforce with employees who have recently returned from, or have family members who have recently returned from China.  Specifically with how you are dealing with paid vs unpaid during incubation periods if off work (cannot work from home employees)  As well as any other precautions you have implemented would be very beneficial.

 

Thanks in advance.

Shannon



#2 Charles.C

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 06:44 AM

Good afternoon everyone,

 

We are reviewing our workplace policy against the recent Coronavirus positive testings.  Areas of review are visitor sign-in information updates, sanitizer stations updates, altered sanitation focuses, work from home policies etc.

 

I am interested in knowing what other food manufacturers are doing around protecting your workforce with employees who have recently returned from, or have family members who have recently returned from China.  Specifically with how you are dealing with paid vs unpaid during incubation periods if off work (cannot work from home employees)  As well as any other precautions you have implemented would be very beneficial.

 

Thanks in advance.

Shannon

 

Hopefully the Government have provided some advanced protection/screening ?


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#3 S-S

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 03:51 PM

We're also reviewing our procedure of emergency planning to cover the coronavirus - Covid-19 has our plan wasn't that elaborate in case of a pandemic situation.

The government of Canada says the risk is currently low for the population of Canada.

We use the most up to date info from the gov. of Canada about the covid-19 with this link.

https://www.canada.c...-infection.html

 

We usually use mask when we work at our food plan when the food is exposed, we had to buy extra mask to make sure we don't run out of mask and we also bought extra disposable gloves and disposable protection (apron,etc.) since we can't work without any protection. We did a small refresh to all our employee about the GMP.

Work from home is quite impossible in the food industry for the majority of the employees. How can we deal with this situation? (employee unpaid when in quarantine ?)

 

I saw this article on Global news with some info about how to deal with the situation in the workplace.

https://globalnews.c...work-from-home/

 

I'm also curious what other food manufacturer have in place to prevent or in case a there's a pandemic or quarantine in their region affecting the operation.

It could be useful if other Food manufacturer in China, Italy, etc, (most affected at the moment by the covid-19), shared their experience on how they manage the situation in the workplace and regarding the food safety at the moment.



#4 QAGB

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 05:47 PM

I work with companies in China, and quite a lot of them have not yet returned to work. Those that have returned are in a VERY limited capacity - and we are anticipating using backup vendors as we proceed.  Even those facilities that have returned to work are operating anywhere between 0-40% of normal capacity. 

 

Totally agreed that in manufacturing, working from home is not an option for production employees. They either are working on site or they are not working at all. There are a couple threads on this, but my take is that employees should receive paid time off - if employees are found to be ill, or if your company has decided to shut down.  Perhaps it isn't a full-time compensation (if you can't afford the full-time rate), but I feel employees shouldn't have to suffer monetarily because of something completely out of their control. 

 

You'll also find that not paying employees will likely cause them to try to work while sick - which will not benefit anyone if they do. I know a lot of people live paycheck to paycheck. If they feel they can't afford to stay home - they will come to work. From our understanding, Covid-19 can be present in asymptomatic individuals for some time (hence the 14-day quarantine period), so the likelihood of the virus already being spread by the time an employee tests positive is pretty high. It's really not a great situation overall when it comes to preparation in manufacturing, because this isn't something we can truly prepare for from an operating perspective. 


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#5 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 07:53 PM

Greetings from the US South East.

 

Our corporate and top level local management have been developing plans but as our region has not yet been greatly hit, as of yet, they have instituted a 1st level of defense against the Coronavirus.  

 

We have installed hand sanitizers and foot baths at all external entry doors to help reduce the chance of someone carrying the virus in on their hands/footwear.  Also all supervisors and management have been told to watch for employees who look sick and to send someone home immediately if they exhibit symptoms of Coronavirus.  Any employee that is out for 2+ days will require a doctors note to return.

 

This is just the first level because we do not have a large known population of infected people.

 

Good luck out there.

 

Mr I.


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#6 QAGB

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 08:00 PM

While Walmart is a polarizing company, they did roll out a revised attendance policy today. I thought you all might find this interesting, if not helpful. I think it's a pretty decent plan for a large company that surely will have operations issues if the issue becomes more widespread.

 

https://www.cnbc.com...oronavirus.html


Edited by QAGB, 10 March 2020 - 08:07 PM.


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#7 S-S

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 07:26 PM

I work with companies in China, and quite a lot of them have not yet returned to work. Those that have returned are in a VERY limited capacity - and we are anticipating using backup vendors as we proceed.  Even those facilities that have returned to work are operating anywhere between 0-40% of normal capacity. 

 

Totally agreed that in manufacturing, working from home is not an option for production employees. They either are working on site or they are not working at all. There are a couple threads on this, but my take is that employees should receive paid time off - if employees are found to be ill, or if your company has decided to shut down.  Perhaps it isn't a full-time compensation (if you can't afford the full-time rate), but I feel employees shouldn't have to suffer monetarily because of something completely out of their control. 

 

You'll also find that not paying employees will likely cause them to try to work while sick - which will not benefit anyone if they do. I know a lot of people live paycheck to paycheck. If they feel they can't afford to stay home - they will come to work. From our understanding, Covid-19 can be present in asymptomatic individuals for some time (hence the 14-day quarantine period), so the likelihood of the virus already being spread by the time an employee tests positive is pretty high. It's really not a great situation overall when it comes to preparation in manufacturing, because this isn't something we can truly prepare for from an operating perspective. 

 

 

The Government of Canada announced that it will fund $1B in response to the coronavirus for the province and territories of Canada. I was also worried that employee being unpaid could lead to sick people coming to work..

The government waived the one week waiting period to apply for employment insurance if the person is infected by Covid-19. It's better than nothing but employment insurance isn't a full salary, there's still a risk that employee come in sick.

 

Also to help companies that have their operation affected, Service Canada will adjust the rules of the work-sharing program to help the companies who have to deal with employees staying at home.

 

I think a lot of companies in North America and maybe worldwide are not ready for what's coming if the situation gets worst. 

I think temporary closure are inevitable if the situation gets out of hand, I'll try to elaborate an emergency planning to keep the facility going has long has it's safe for our employee and for the food safety.

It's kind of a never seen before situation. :unsure:

I'll be on the lookout for any suggestions on how to manage this crisis.



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#8 sbarzee

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Posted 17 March 2020 - 01:23 AM

With respect to Walmart's policy, the third option of getting 2 weeks paid leave only applies if you have a confirmed case of Covid-19. So the first week when you're staying home because you have symptoms, and then find out it's the flu, and not Covid-19, you don't get paid leave?







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