Is your factory Covid-safe? Only 31% of people think so


The recent surge of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic has heightened focus on employee safety. Now more than ever, hygiene protocols are imperative to the manufacturing sector, to ensure the safety of staff and to ensure businesses can stay operational throughout this pandemic.

A survey about how Covid-19 has affected perceptions of cleanliness and hygiene in workplaces conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Kimberly-Clark Professional, showed that three out of four people in the UK did not feel safe going back to their place of work following the first lockdown, and 86% said they would still avoid a facility if they didn’t think it was Covid-secure.

We know that alongside the need for increased hygiene measures to ensure that employees feel safe, there are other priorities to juggle – from changes in operations and supply chain disruption to financial impact. Indeed, the survey revealed that 53% of manufacturers anticipated a change in operations as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, and 78% said that the uncertainty would have a financial impact.

We are keen to fully uncover the concerns and issues around returning to work across all sectors, so we commissioned Harris Interactive to discover how people really felt about their workplaces in the manufacturing sector and found that in the factories, warehouses, and distribution sector, 79% of respondents are now more aware of hygiene practices.

Only manufacturers which win the confidence of their employees, suppliers and customers will thrive, and from this research it is clear that hygiene is now top of the manufacturing agenda.

Interestingly, six out of seven of the most important factors listed in the research were cleaning and hygiene related, with only 31% thinking hygiene practices in factories are currently adequate, 61% saying that seeing cleaning in action was important; and 59% wanting cleaning and disinfecting procedures communicated clearly.

Many businesses are clearly not doing enough, and people are scared, so these findings are crucial in guiding our ability to ensure we offer the best advice and solutions. There are no shortcuts to workplace hygiene – we need to cover every angle.

Manufacturing facility support includes considering need areas and tools to assess your facility and identify germ hotspots. Hotspots are objects such as tools, control panels, door handles, sink fixtures, lift buttons and stair rails that are touched by many throughout the day and need frequent cleaning and disinfection to help break the chain in germ transmission.

The next step is implementing cleaning and disinfecting protocols and introducing the correct hand hygiene and surface-wiping solutions. Finally, hygienic workplace practices can be promoted by providing communication tools to help create awareness, which is a vital and important part of making people feel safe.

Reassuring employees with visible hygiene actions has never been more important for a manufacturer’s survival, and yet not all are behaving this way. Hygiene needs to take centre-stage.

Kimberly-Clark Professional has introduced the 360˚ Hygiene & Protection programme to help businesses get back on their feet and restore confidence. A free no-obligation Virtual Hygiene Walk – which you can be booked through this microsite – reviews a facility and provides expert guidance on cleaning and hygiene protocols, recommending the right product solutions to tackle key hygiene hotspots.


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