Mila has just announced a partial reopening of its warehouse to provide a limited delivery service to customers working on commercial contracts.
This has only been made possible because the Mila operations team has reviewed every aspect of its working environment and implemented new safe working procedures based around what it says is a gold standard protocol nicknamed ERIC.
As much of the industry looks for a way to return to work which safeguards the health and welfare of staff, suppliers and, of course, customers and the general public, Mila is sharing the ERIC protocol to try to help others.
Before adopting ERIC, Mila’s NEBOSH certified Health and Safety Manager, Joe Montague researched all of the best practice guidelines which have emerged both in the UK and in China during the current pandemic. He believes that ERIC provides the safest and most comprehensive toolkit currently available to manufacturers and distributors, as long as it implemented rigorously and consistently alongside comprehensive staff training and, of course, adequate provision of PPE.
The four key aspects of the protocol are:
• Eliminate any non-essential tasks from the site so that only essential product handling is taking place. Any work that can be done from home should continue
• Eliminate any non-essential contractors and visitors from the site so that only cleaning, servicing and waste management visits are allowed
• Reduce the level of goods-in to the minimum necessary
• Reduce staffing levels so that only the minimum number of staff are on site at any one time – matching individual skillsets with the tasks required
• Reduce working hours to match the workload
• Reduce the number of inbound and outbound drivers allowed onto the site
• Strictly enforce the 2-metre social distancing rule
• Anyone with a high temperature or persistent cough, anyone who is classed as vulnerable to Covid-19 and anyone who lives with a vulnerable person or someone who is in self-isolation should not come to work
• Staff should avoid public transport to travel to work and only car share with members of their own household
• On arrival, 2m distancing should apply while waiting to enter and leave the building, and one person should be tasked with signing everyone in and out
• Everyone entering should be asked if they have any symptoms and be reminded of the Health and Safety Rules
• Hand sanitizer should be used on entering the building
• During working hours, the 2m distance needs to be observed at all times, with no one working face to face
• Offices and toilets should be used by one person at a time with engaged/vacant signage in use
• Breaktimes should be staggered
• All equipment should be allocated for use by one person only and labelled accordingly – including computers, tape guns and tools. Where multiple use is required, they should be disinfected between use
• If first aid is required, disposable gloves and face masks must be worn
• Covid-19 signage needs to be in place throughout the site
• All staff should be instructed on regular hand washing and facilities and hand sanitizer provided
• 2m markers to be placed on floors throughout walkways and working areas
• Twice daily cleaning to be implemented on personal workstations and equipment, as well as all common touch points such as door handles, taps, and printers
Alongside ERIC, Mila is also stressing the importance of allocating adequate PPE to everyone on site so that items such as goggles and face masks are never shared.
Mila’s Managing Director Richard Gyde commented: “Our priority will always be the safety and wellbeing of our team but, with these new protocols in place, we feel confident that we can start to consider some kind of resumption of work.
“Obviously, none of us wants to jeopardise the gains which have been made in the battle against the Coronavirus by going back to work too soon, but equally we don’t want to risk long term damage to individual businesses or to the wider industry by remaining closed for any longer than is necessary.”