In the face of a global pandemic, companies have had to adapt and reinvent themselves to respond to the crisis. How has Manitou Group lived through this period, responded to challenges and reacted to overcome difficulties? In this article, the focus is on health and safety in France, and the actions taken from the beginning of the pandemic.
In order to protect the health and safety of its employees, Manitou Group has strongly mobilised from the beginning of the crisis to prepare for the resumption of work and to establish all the applicable health measures.
To that end, following the containment announcements issued by the government, a special unit composed by the Health, Safety, Environment teams, Quality of Life at Work team and the occupational medicine physician, was created to define these rules and the associated organisation.
The various management committees were regularly consulted to ensure the standardisation of the actions carried out on the sites. Finally, staff representatives were also systematically informed and consulted on the strategy deployed.
Manitou Group established a strategy of measures to supplement the mandatory national protective measures. A detailed protocol was devised. It gradually evolves as the lockdown is eased by the government.
The company made remote working a priority. At the same time, numerous measures are applied to all sites for employees whose work requires a physical presence. On arrival at a Manitou site, a specific route must be followed and a social distance of 1.5 m. (5 feet) must be respected throughout the site. A mask provided by the company must be worn and changed every four hours, and specific equipment is provided if two employees cannot avoid working together. With regard to infrastructures, the offices and open spaces have been rearranged. Shared areas such as locker rooms, restrooms, meeting rooms and company restaurants are subject to restricted, strictly supervised use.
To ensure successful implementation of this system and respond to questions from employees when they return to the site, regular communications about these measures have been distributed to all employees via a number of tools: awareness-raising videos on the Intranet, SMS, emails, posters, etc.
Resumption of activity on the site has been gradual with a progressive increase in production to allow all the health measures to be taken on board, to enable every employee to report any situation that poses a risk to health or comfort, and for the measures to be adjusted accordingly.
What is the next challenge? Finding the right balance between the evolution of the measures gradually as lockdown is eased, in line with government announcements, and maintaining strong mobilisation to continue to ensure the safety of employees, who will return to the site in growing numbers.