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Posted by Inda McKetchnie on Jun 3, 2020 4:58PM

Massachusetts’ Guidelines for Manufacturing During COVID-19

Manufacturing businesses are included in Phase 1 of Massachusetts’ planSocial Distancing is Just One of the Many New Requirements When Reopening of slowly reopening the economy after a lockdown period that spanned multiple months. While some manufacturing companies remained open as essential businesses, these new safety standards are mandatory for all manufacturing businesses moving forward for the foreseeable future.

Here is what you need to know for your manufacturing business moving forward:

Social Distancing

Separation of at least 6 feet must be practiced in all scenarios, including on the factory floor, workspaces, and communal areas (such as cafeterias), unless the nature of the machinery or workspace is unsafe with that amount of distance.

Specific requirements to adhere to:

  • Install visual distancing markers on workstations to delineate 6-feet separations
  • Place visual markers throughout facility to guide movement of individuals
  • Only packaged food should be available in cafeterias
  • Consider staggering lunch/break/start times to ensure that all individuals can maintain 6 feet of separation easily
  • All individuals must wear face coverings, unless it creates a safety hazard due to a disability or the nature of work
  • Minimize the use of confined spaces (elevators, vehicles, etc.) to one individual at a time
  • Create physical partitions taller than the employees if proper workspace distancing cannot be achieved

It is also recommended to improve air quality and ventilation where possible and to assign specific workspace to avoid unnecessary contact between individuals.

Hygiene Protocols

To adhere to the set hygiene standards, everyone must have access to hand washing facilities on site, including soap and water, and sufficient break time must be allowed to thoroughly and frequently wash hands. Hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may also be used as an alternative.

All workstations must have cleaning supplies available and all high-touch areas, such as doorknobs, door handles, and restrooms, require at least daily cleaning and sanitation.

And as in the case of social distancing, proper signage should be posted throughout the facility to inform people of the strict hygiene protocols.

Staffing & Operations

Guidelines for your workforce include:

  • Provide training for workers on up-to-date safety information and precautions, including hygiene and safety measures
  • Limit the number of visitors and service providers on site in order to reduce exposure and maintain proper social distancing
  • Workers must stay home if feeling ill
  • If you are aware of a positive case of COVID-19 at your workplace, you must notify the local Board of Health (LBOH) and work with them to trace likely contacts in the workplace
    • Workers who tested positive should isolate and self-quarantine
  • Post notices for workers regarding safety measures and health information

Some recommended practices that should be considered where possible include:

  • If high manual work is involved, consider reopening in a gradual/phased approach and adjusting work operations and schedules (staggered arrival and departure times) to reduce density in the facility
  • Have shipping and deliveries completed in designated areas, possibly outside of the facility
  • Anyone particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 due to age or underlying conditions should be encouraged to remain home
  • Encourage workers to self-identify symptoms and to disclose information to management if they have tested positive to COVID-19 or have come in contact with anyone who has
    • This will allow for proper cleaning and disinfecting, as well as contact tracing in the hopes of reducing further spread
  • Testing employees consistent with guidelines set by LBOH may be recommended

Cleaning & Disinfecting

Conduct daily cleaning and disinfection of workspaces (after each shift and more frequently, if possible, for high-traffic areas). Maintain updated cleaning logs that include time, date, and scope of cleaning. If you do experience a positive case in your workplace, shut down the site for a deep cleaning and disinfecting in accordance with current guidance.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has created a number of resources for addressing COVID-19, and all the above information was pulled from this new guidelines that include an easy-to-use checklist, which may be helpful when implementing these new standards in your workplace.

The effects of COVID-19 may continue for some time despite the economy gradually reopening. Has your business experienced changes as a result of the restrictions and economic changes that have taken place as a result of the pandemic? Grant Marketing is here to help you with your marketing and branding needs. We look forward to hearing from you. Reach out to us today!

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Topics: Industrial Manufacturing Companies, Industrial Manufacturers, Covid-19

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