Personnel Process Safety Training Work Processes Workforce

Keep Your Workforce Safe During A Pandemic

EP Editorial Staff | May 10, 2020

Availability of personal protective equipment is a key component of maximizing the health and safety of workers.

By Jon Sillerud, Uponor North America

When a worldwide pandemic brings life as we know it to a screeching halt but manufacturing operations still need to continue, how do you best prepare and protect your workforce to ensure employee safety and business continuity?

Organize a task force

At the beginning stages of any local, regional, national, or global crisis, it’s important to create a task force of department leaders.

At a minimum, this task force should meet daily to review status updates from local, state, and national governments; make necessary changes to company policies and procedures; and activate communication tactics to best inform employees—as well as customers—about the current situation.

Set ground rules

When a pandemic hits, maximizing the health and safety of workers is the primary goal.

Include some of the following tactics to help protect employees and ensure a solid workforce during a challenging time.

Sanitize daily all tools, equipment, workstations, desks, chairs, computers, and phones.

Stagger employee breaks and set a maximum occupancy for breakrooms.

Move tables and remove chairs in breakrooms to promote social distancing.

Alternate use of time clocks.

Minimize contact with delivery drivers.

Ensure all employees wear personal protective equipment (PPE).

Communicate often

Communication is paramount during a pandemic.

Employees need to know that the company is taking their health and safety seriously and that new policies and procedures must be followed to ensure everyone is protected.

Since large gatherings are not safe for communicating employee updates, it’s important to create new methods for
ensuring everyone receives information in a timely manner.

In addition to emails, some companies have notification systems that alert employees directly on their cell phones. Other options include large signs on bulletin boards or digital screens throughout the facility.

However you choose to communicate, know that communicating clearly and often is most important. EP

Jon Sillerud is Vice President, Operations, at Uponor North America, Apple Valley, MN ( Reach him at

For more about workforce development strategies and techniques, watch our webinar, presented by Jon Sillerud. You can view the presentation at


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