As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to bring about unprecedented changes to all facets of daily life, many businesses have been hit particularly hard. This is especially true of manufacturing and fabrication businesses, all of which have had to make many changes and adjustments at a moment’s notice just to stay operational. If you own or manage a fabrication business, you are naturally wondering what may come next and how you should adapt to even more changes. To help make the transition as smooth as possible until the pandemic passes, here are six tips to keep in mind for your business during the days ahead.
Reduce the Number of Employees
Unfortunately, during the current situation, it will be best if you reduce the number of employees in your facility. By doing so, you not only streamline operations so that your manufacturing process can be made easier, but you also save money for your company, which may prove crucial to keeping your company afloat until business returns to normal.
Since there will be high demand for medical equipment and other related items, consider modifying your equipment at your facility to adjust to changing business needs. In most cases, production lines can be modified in a short period of time, enabling you to keep employees working and revenue coming in until the crisis passes.
Extend Operating Times
If you have the capacity to do so, consider extending the operating time for your business. As demand for certain equipment has escalated, many manufacturing companies have started 24/7 operations to not only produce much-needed equipment, but also to keep employees on the job and keep their facilities operational. However, before making this important decision, it is crucial you analyze your company’s financial standing and whether or not the pros will outweigh the cons in terms of revenue, building maintenance, and other factors.
Carefully Watch Heating and Cooling Capacities
Since manufacturing and fabrication business facilities usually contain large numbers of people and equipment at a given time, it will be crucial to carefully monitor your facility’s heating and cooling capacities during this time. If these are not properly monitored and maintained, data shows virus particles from COVID-19 can circulate in return ducts and thus re-enter your building, creating a potentially serious health hazard. Because of this, all air systems that recirculate air within a facility should be turned off as much as possible. Instead, windows should be opened to help fresh air circulate throughout a building and supply outside air to workers.
Do Not Rely on Air Conditioning and Humidification
As more and more information is circulated regarding COVID-19, it has become very easy to allow misinformation to guide one’s thinking in certain matters. This is especially true regarding potential conditions that could possibly limit or eliminate the virus altogether, such as heat and humidity. Unfortunately, if you assume that keeping your facility extremely warm or cold will help, you are mistaken. According to the latest data from researchers, COVID-19 is resistant to environmental changes such as humidification or air conditioning. In fact, studies show it only begins to break down once humidity levels reach 80% and air temperatures exceed 86 degrees Fahrenheit, both of which are levels unsustainable in buildings.
Personal Protection Equipment
Since current guidelines are asking people to stay at least 6 feet apart from one another and use other forms of personal protective equipment (PPE) both in public and while on the job, it will be crucial for you to ensure you have an adequate supply for your workers. Due to the high demand of PPE for healthcare workers, this may become a factor in determining how many employees you are able to keep working at your facility at any given time. Yet for those who are on the job, it will be best if you make sure they are outfitted with gloves, masks, face shields, or anything else you deem to be necessary for their safety and the safety of others.
While these are only a few tips for your business, implementing as many of them as possible may not only help keep everyone safe, but also keep your business competitive and open until life returns to normal.