Social Distancing Best Practices for Manufacturers

As Oregon begins reopening, things are going to be a little different in the workplace – especially for manufacturers.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen many questions about how to safely operate, and what social distancing should look like on the factory floor. The idea of maintaining a minimum distance of 6’ between you and the people around you is certainly a challenge for manufacturers with small spaces. To address these challenges and suggest best practices, we built a webinar for manufacturers. A few key points for success:

Create a team to Outline Your Workplace ‘Social Distancing Policy’

This is not only a great way to educate employees and build awareness to help avoid infection, but it is also recommended by many authorities, including OSHA. If you’re curious about how employment law plays a role in your re-opening and continuing operation plans, watch learn about this topic from Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt

If you want ideas on specific items to include in your re-opening and social distancing policies, read our guidebook here.

Create or Modify Structures to Facilitate Greater Spacing Amongst Team Members

Consider adapting shift structures, mediating entrance/exit to and from the facility and work areas, and limiting on-site work to only necessary essential functions (while other work is done remotely). This will help to limit the headcount in commonly used areas. A great way to make sure that commonly used areas remain safe for employees is by allocating time throughout the day for cleaning and sanitizing surfaces.

Review real-life examples, photos, and detailed information in this webinar on social distancing.

Eliminate Meetings in Closed Spaces

Reduce the sharing of tools and equipment, and if work stations can be moved, make sure they are also 6’ apart. Utilize collaborative chat software and other technology to limit or eliminate hands-on, or frequent in-person small group meetings. As you re-work your space, consider that you may benefit from utilizing Operational Excellence tools.

Tap into Lean tools to rethink your workspace

Communicate Frequently

Clearly communicate the standards which all personnel should follow, and lead by example. You can’t over-communicate at this time, with your employees, customers, and partners.

Discover more ideas and best practices around communication from our webinars on Leadership During Uncertain Times and PR and Communication for Your Manufacturing Business

For more ideas and resources surrounding social distancing best practices in the workplace please visit OMEP’s Social Distancing Resources Page


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