Many kinds of businesses have been impacted by Covid-19 and there are new government guidelines to apply to the manufacturing industry. With more people buying and shopping online it’s created more demand for products that we need to ensure we’re keeping up with. But things need to be done right in order to meet government guidelines and keep people safe while producing enough of the products we make. Here’s what you need to know.
Keep your employees safe
At the moment, while coronavirus isn’t fully understood (and transmission methods need to be better studied) we need to be adhering to government guidelines to keep employees safe. Even if these seem a little extreme, they’re the best form of protection we have right now, and that applies to keeping people safe at work too. Social distancing, the use of masks in some cases and regular hand washing are all important. In cases where employees are able to work from home, this should be the preference. Your office workers who deal with HR, accounting, ordering stock such as fuel from red diesel suppliers and other types of jobs are able to do this remotely. However, in the case of warehouse workers, machine operatives and other employees in the manufacturing industry this isn’t possible.
Manage financial risks
Managing risk is always important in business, but at the moment things are particularly volatile. Managing your financial risk is crucial; anticipate potential changes as best as you can based on the data and model the way your manufacturing plant should react ahead of the fluctuations if possible. Many manufacturing plants experienced a huge spike in demand at the start of lockdown as people panic bought, but once things settled down demand returned to normal- meaning making masses of extra product wouldn’t have paid off and could have resulted in stock you’re unable to shift. Consider what kinds of fluctuations and changes in demand are likely.
Keep communication clear
Ramping up internal communications is vitally important, this includes regularly sharing information about the company’s evolving knowledge of the crisis and how it is using that knowledge to protect employees and the organization. Utilise video software such as Zoom and Skype to keep everyone in the loop in a safe way. Be open with communication and ensure staff are able to speak honestly and ask questions regarding the new situation. These are uncertain times for everyone, chances are your staff will need some kind of reassurance so be sure to provide this to them. This includes issues like furlough, time off for self isolation and new safety guidelines at work.
While the government has set out new plans to return life to as near normal as we can and for as many people as possible, as quickly and fairly as possible in order to safeguard livelihoods, there are guidelines to be followed in any industry. All businesses have a moral obligation to operate in a way that is safe for all employees and continues to protect our NHS.
The manufacturing sector can only operate from the workplace, and there are tailored guidelines for employers to help protect their workforce and customers from coronavirus while still continuing to trade or getting their business back up and running. We aim to keep you up-dated with detailed COVID-19 secure guidelines, which has been developed in consultation with businesses and trades unions.