Since COVID-19 arrived in the US back in January, it has brought new challenges to every American’s day-to-day life. One of the United States’ most vital industries is being hit hard by the pandemic – the manufacturing industry. Forbes states that the manufacturing world’s greatest problem is ensuring a safe environment for employees to work in. Forbes estimates that human operators are typically spaced 2 feet apart, giving rise to several questions for those employees as they return to work. How will I stay safe at my station? Is my employer doing anything to help screen my coworkers for Coronavirus? Is my employer doing anything to protect me?
At an US based pork processing plant, some workers say that they have seen colleagues who appear unwell continue to show up to work every day. This only brings more questions and fear to employees, adding to the constant stress and uncertainty felt every day as a result of the pandemic.
Employers can take steps to ease employee concerns amid the pandemic. For example, The Center of Disease Control’s Critical Infrastructure Guidance advises that “critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to coronavirus disease 2019 provided they remain asymptomatic, have not had a positive test result for COVID-19, and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community.”
But what do they mean by additional precautions? OSHA recommends developing an Infection Disease Preparedness and Response Plan, highlighting “the need for social distancing” and “medical screening.”
Social distancing, contact tracing, and employee symptom screening could be the saving grace for manufacturers and processing plants across the country. The Modjoul Health Platform can be an effective way to ensure employees return to work safely while instilling confidence amongst the workforce that your company is doing everything they can to prevent the spread of illness.