pandemic conundrum- let us fight together

Article by Kailash Desai, MD, Endress+Hauser India

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The COVID-19 virus is spreading across the globe and killing thousands. The disease emerged from Wuhan City, China and little did we know that it would spread to India and create havoc across the globe. It’s time for all of us to come together and work towards a brighter future and fight the invisible enemy.  In the event of an influenza pandemic, organisations will play an important role in protecting employees’ health and safety as well as in limiting the impact on the economy and society.

Protecting Customers and employees

Since the pandemic outbreak we have been educating and training employees in proper hand hygiene, cough etiquette and social distancing techniques. Our in-house expert team who understands trends and following WHO guidelines and have developed newer work practice and engineering controls. Today, we are able to provide additional protection to our customers and employers, such as; clear plastic sneeze barriers, ventilation, and the proper selection, use and disposal of personal protective equipment.

The most important part of pandemic preparedness is to work with your employees, local and state agencies and to develop co-operative pandemic plans to maintain the operations and keep our employees and the public safe. We are adhering to government guidelines and are also open to ideas from our customers and employers. There are Watsapp groups and a special task force who are helping our colleagues and we are also co-ordinating with local chamber of commerce on regular basis.

As a countermeasure to ensure the physical and mental well-being of employees, especially owing to the outbreak of the virus we have launched newer policies which are employee friendly.

Here are some of them; 

  • Atour plant in Aurangabad and offices across India there are adequate resources and a work environment that takes care of the personal hygiene of the employees. For example, we are providing the employees with tissues, no-touch trash cans, hand wash and sanitizers, disinfectants and disposable towels to clean their work surfaces on a regular basis.
  • Workplaces and the factory are regularly sanitized and a roaster is maintained for the same.
  • We are imparting knowledge and providing employees with up-to-date education and training on influenza risk factors, protective behaviours, and instruction on proper behaviours (for example, cough etiquette and care of personal protective equipment).
  • Developed policies to minimize contacts between employees and customers. Customers too are requested to follow the WHO guidelines on social distancing.

Work Practice and Engineering Controls

  • We have instructed employees to avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with other employees and the general public. Spacing workstations have been put in practice too.
  • We are encouraging our employees and customers to work from home and expanded our internet, phone-based services. Some customers will also get a benefit of our newly launched product service- factory-to-factory (FTF) delivery where the products will be delivered at the doorstep of the customers.
  • We have a doctor on call and timely temperature check-up of our employees.
  • We have appointed an in-house team of crusaders called “Covid-19 Task-Force” who are constantly communicating with our employees across India and checking on their well-being. Medical service resources have been put together like doctor-on-call, on-site nurse or employee wellness program to check for flu-like symptoms before employees enter the workplace.
  • The buses in which our employees travel to our factory are sanitized and adhere to safe distancing policies.

We believe in the maxim, “Better too much too early than too little too late”, and keeping that in mind right now seems like a good idea. Let us steadily and cautiously open our offices and not rush into it. We resolve to support the community’s well-being, irrespective of the lockdown situation. I strongly believe that together we will get past this and life will be back to that familiar hum we are all missing right now.

And remember – if you’re really overwhelmed and need some help to cope, feel free to contact the 24X7 helpline number in your state.

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