COVID-19 has significantly changed the industrial landscape for the foreseeable future. Online shopping has reached unprecedented levels, putting greater demand on warehousing, logistics and transport hubs. Our supermarkets have been under immense pressure, heightening levels of manufacturing, warehousing and logistics. UK manufacturing is seeing an upturn as many companies re-shore back to their homeland, from the Far East, to become more self-sufficient and not have to rely upon other countries in case of another pandemic or emergency situation. Throw social distancing measures into the mix and suddenly workplaces realise they need to re-think their safety and protection systems and traffic flows in and around the building.
New Ways of Working Can Present New Health, Safety and Production Challenges
Every business has had to implement social distancing measures in order to re-open. For some, these will be quite extensive and, if you’re in the industrial sector, this can seriously impact the output and productivity of your facility. Suddenly, plants and facilities are faced with a balancing act they must get right – protecting the health of the workforce, alongside the safety of the people (as well as the building and everything within it), whilst achieving maximum output.
Review How People and Vehicles Operate in the Facility
It’s time to get everybody around the table – department representatives for Health & Safety, Environment, Quality, Transport, Operations, etc. to review the KPIs, targets and output requirements and identify the main health and safety risks associated with these. Consider how new social distancing measures will impact the outputs and the safety. Whilst it’s utterly important to keep people healthy, their safety must be top priority too. Review floor plans and consider shift patterns and volume of traffic at different times of the day. As your production increases, you need to optimise the workspace so that you can facilitate the maximum amount of people, vehicles and equipment whilst maintaining strict health and safety standards.
Partner with an Industrial Safety Specialist
Specialist companies like Brandsafe will help you to reorganise your safety systems and help you get more from your workspace. It could be as simple as putting an extra ‘break’ in your pedestrian walkways to allow vehicle traffic flow; adding in extra safety barriers; implementing bespoke segregation zones for safe picking and packing; Perspex screen systems (for segregating pick workers to operate in close proximity to co-workers to create the social distance measures associated with the current COVID-19 risks) or redesigning your entire traffic flow system – whatever solution will enable your facility to perform at its best whilst keeping your people healthy and the entire work environment safe. Proactive organisations that review their industrial workspaces will profit from healthier, happier and more productive workforces that can facilitate any increases in volume and demand.
Keep Workforces Happy, Safe and Productive
Keeping staff and operators at work by implementing these new high performance measures that need instating in today’s new workplace, will prove to be hugely profitable - if only to arrest the huge costs that will ensue by workers staying away from work through health issues or the fear of health issues. The businesses that invest and visibly demonstrate the improvements and measures being implemented to create the new health and safety standards of workspace environments where employees do not feel ‘vulnerable’, will ensure your staff and operators come to work - not only because they want to but also because they are safe and healthy to do so. You can clearly then conclude that the businesses who achieve this will not only have a workforce committed, present, safe and healthy, but will also achieve higher performance for the company’s top and bottom line (not to mention your customers who will also gain higher performance from you in terms of delivery and customer service).
Speak to Brandsafe for more information about implementing safety systems in the workplace.