The coronavirus pandemic has meant that we have all been confronted with unprecedented challenges. With our production facilities in Tianjin, we were faced with and had to deal with the crisis very early on. Thanks to the countermeasures we rapidly implemented, the Chinese authorities confirmed our compliance with mandatory hygiene requirements and we were able to re-start production extremely quickly. This early involvement is currently proving to be an asset as we are able to draw on experience at our Chinese plant meaning we can act quickly when it comes to implementing safety measures at our other sites.
The health of our employees is a primary concern and in order to protect them, whilst maintaining business operations, Secop has set up an emergency response team. It meets, virtually, three times a week and is made up of the CCO and CFO, branch managers, shareholder representatives, experts on production planning and human resources managers.
The team is in continuous contact with health agencies to align on best measures. Posters, protocols and regular newsletters inform employees about how to avoid infection and provide them with updates as well as giving other crucial information including emergency numbers. Furthermore, we are constantly monitoring supply chains to ensure production is maintained and sharing knowledge with our suppliers.
To date, we have taken the following steps to all sites in Europe and the USA:
- Disinfectant has been installed in all company locations. We have increased daily cleaning activities and closed all canteens. A contingency plan has been set up for emergencies, including quarantine rooms in our facilities.
- All business trips have been cancelled. It is now strictly forbidden to hold meetings with people from outside the company unless they have been approved by the General Management. Substitution plans are regularly updated and verified for completeness by each department.
- Employees are required to quarantine themselves for 14 days if they or any members of their household return from private trips in infected regions.
- We are encouraging employees to work from their home office whenever possible. To facilitate remote working we are offering working tools and VPN or Citrix access and have increased bandwidth for efficient connections.
- We are scheduling regular team calls for work coordination and have increased the maximum number of potential users of our video conferencing system.
- A special arrival protocol has been established for truck drivers, ensuring safe distance is maintained at all times and obliging porters to wear face masks and gloves. In addition, we require safety protocols from truck companies.
These measurements have been applied to all our sites in Europe.
Furthermore, and in accordance with local government regulations, we have implemented the following additional measures at the manufacturing plant in Zlaté Moravce, Slovakia:
- Employees have been provided with face masks and gloves to wear during and outside work, disinfection gel and soap have been distributed across the plant.
- Delivery drivers are also obliged to wear masks and gloves to enter the site.
- Everybody entering company grounds will be required to have their temperature measured by infrared thermography before being granted admission.
- Canteens remain open, following all Health and Safety regulations, to allow our employees to continue benefitting from hot meals.
- White-collar workers were divided into two equally sized groups, one working in the office, the other at home, rotating every week.
At our Chinese production site in Tianjin we have established the following measures, among others:
- During the extended New Year holiday, the factory was completely disinfected and the management released their plan for the prevention and control of COVID-19.
- The prerequisite for resuming work after the extended New Year holidays was proof of a 14-day quarantine and this was provided.
- Posters were hung up all over the site to make sure the workforce was fully informed about the measures.
- Several spots within the site for regular measurement of body temperature have been set up. Here we have also provided employees with protective masks, gloves and disinfectant. Quarantine rooms have also been installed. Regular disinfection of the facilities has been intensified. This also applies to shuttle buses.
- Personalized medical records body temperature is recorded have been created for all employees.
- In WeChat groups, we are providing employees with regular updates and all necessary information. They are also free to ask questions about Corona and the protective measures.
- Deliveries are disinfected before acceptance and contact details of the drivers are recorded.
- Isolation devices have been installed for production on the assembly line to ensure the minimum distance between workers.
- The number of people allowed to enter the canteen at any one time has been limited to ensure minimum distancing is adhered to.
At Secop we take safe working conditions extremely seriously and have implemented procedures and counter measures to ensure our employees have a protected working environment. This has enabled us to successfully continue our production, guaranteeing uninterrupted deliveries despite the various roadblocks generated by this unpredictable pandemic. We are continuing to monitor the situation to adjust and improve our solutions.
We wish everyone good health and strength to survive this unparalleled situation!
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