5 Social Distancing Tips for Factories & Warehouses

Updated: Jul 8, 2020

Struggling with how to implement social distancing in your factory or warehouse?

With construction and manufacturing being two of the first industries to get back up and running as we started to emerge from lockdown, many facilities teams will have been scratching their heads, wondering how on earth they implement social distancing without crippling productivity.

Here at CGT Screens, we've worked with organisations across a number of sectors to help them implement measures that will allow exactly that, and we've compiled some of the things we've learnt that are specific to factories and warehouses.

Here are five tips to get your company back up and running:

1. Educate your staff:

All workers must be made aware of the reasons why social distancing is so important, and the nature of how Covid-19 spreads. 

This has a two-fold benefit:

1) The obvious benefit - if your staff understand why they have to follow the measures you've put in place, then they're more likely to abide by the rules.

2) Making clear and determined steps to educate all the stakeholders about the social distancing measures you're putting into place in your facilities will send a message that you're taking their safety and wellbeing seriously. With workers being actively encouraged to whistle-blow on organisations not following Government guidelines, this is a major benefit.

2. Team effort is key:

All team members must be held responsible to enforce social distancing and should notify management immediately of any non-conformance.

Peer accountability is widely recognised as the most effective method of enforcing such measures.

3. Use visuals:

Pictures are a universal language, our brain can processes images 60,000 times faster than words. It also reinforces something we mentioned earlier about sending a clear message - out of sight is out of mind!

Visual management can include temporary magnetic signage to keep reminding staff of the rules, and markings on the floor so operatives know safe distances to stand on production lines. 

4. Physical barriers:

Where 2-metre distancing isn’t an option due to machinery operation or a task requiring 2 or more people in close proximity, the introduction of our tall industrial screens available in mobile or floor fixed-format will prevent the risk of equipment contamination and reduces the risk of any germs being transmitted person-to-person.

Heavy-duty castors are an advantage where mobility and rapid redeployment are needed; in some applications, the screens won't be simply sat in the same place all the time.

The CGT Industrial Screen also has the added benefit of a polycarbonate infill, rather than the more commonly used perspex or acrylic. Polycarbonate is 25x stronger than acrylic, and won't shatter, even on impact, making the screens ideal for more rugged industrial applications.

An addition to the screen we've added specifically for factories and production lines is the top-level extensions, seen in the images above.

These extensions clip on the side of the screen and are designed to extend protection over the top of a work-surface or workbench. This is necessary where work is being done on the actual surface, as the screen separating where workers are physically stood won't protect this area.

The screen extensions can also be bespoke sizes to cover specific applications where the standard product isn't sufficient.

5. Stagger breaks and shifts:

This is an effective way to reduce the amount of staff together at any given time, especially in concentrated factory areas such as manual assembly and packing lines, equipment stores and canteens.

Whilst this may be an 'administrative nightmare', bear this fact in mind - If everyone halves the number of people they come in contact with, it will reduce the 'reach' of that one person by more than 95% over the next 30 days!

This could make the biggest impact on preventing Covid-19 spreading through your workforce and the wider community.

In more automated production plants where there are no production lines with staff close together, the risk of transmission is more likely to be in the communal areas that staff visit when they're not working.

Areas in the facility such as canteens, corridors, entrances & exits and toilets should all be considered from the perspective of social distancing, and preventative measures implemented where necessary.

How CGT Screens can assist

CGT Screens are UK Manufacturers of social distancing screens and can assist with any bespoke requirements your facility may have, from a custom colour, through to an entirely bespoke protective screen.

Contact the team today to discuss your options, or view our products here.

Keep your distance, keep productive and keep well!