How Factories Can Establish a Coronavirus-Conscious Work Environment

Jun. 20 2020

Bureau Veritas participated in a Sourcing Journal article published on June 15, 2020. Here is brief excerpt and a link to the full article. 

Following factory closures due to COVID-19, manufacturers are eager to get back to work. But as these facilities reopen, managers and employees will need to navigate a new normal on the factory floor due to health considerations. Establishing the proper safety precautions—from social distancing to cleaning—can mean the difference between being able to stay operational and facing another temporary closure and costly pause in production. 

Awareness and adjustments
Aside from adhering to government health mandates to remain open, instituting measures to keep employees safe is a human resources issue. “The biggest concern that [factory management has is] workers are not happy to rush back to work until they feel that there’s safety,” said Rajan Kamalanathan, vice president global CSR and sustainability at testing and inspection company Bureau Veritas. Therefore, establishing trust in health precautions is a first step to convince them to return.

Due to the added number of procedures and policies to track, auditing is playing an even more crucial role. With travel restrictions and other barriers to having an auditor visit in person, some inspections are taking place remotely with the help of live-streaming or video chats. “We found that we can get to a certain level of granularity… so you don’t need to physically be in the factory to complete some of this work,” Kamalanathan said.

Capacity and costs
“Because retailers and brands are now placing orders, they’ve now turned the spigot on,” said Rick Horwitch, vice president global retail lead and supply chain strategy at Bureau Veritas. “Theoretically there aren’t as many factories left to do things. So is that going to promote bad habits in health and safety, bad habits in quality, bad habits in CSR?” 

This article is for Sourcing Journal annual and limited members only. You can read up to five articles each month with a limited level subscription. Please visit the Sourcing Journal website to log in or subscribe. 


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