May 7, 2020

Food manufacturing industry: Reopening and implementing new health & safety standards

As federal, state and local governments around the world begin to outline how businesses and society will reopen in our “new normal” and post first wave of COVID-19, almost all are recommending a phased or tiered approach, similar to what we’re seeing from the United States Government and the Provincial Government of Ontario. The Ontario Government's safety guidelines provide recommendations and tips for employers to protect customers, employees and the general public from COVID-19. These resources are available for a variety of sectors, allowing both employers and workers to better understand how they can slow the spread of COVID-19.

Reviewing the Food Manufacturing and Processing Guidelines, among a variety of best practices, there is a laser focus on increased workplace sanitation. Data on how the virus spreads shows that regular and consistent cleaning is imperative to keep people safe.

The recommendations call for sanitizing commonly touched surfaces, areas and shared equipment at least twice per day. For manufacturing facilities, this is a dramatic increase, and due to the sheer amount of cleaning required, it will be difficult to implement and maintain.

Prior to the pandemic, manufacturing facilities were already experiencing difficulties in maintaining regular and consistent cleaning — challenges that will now be exacerbated. Such problems include:

  • Cleaning and supporting 24/7 production environments with shift employees constantly coming and going
  • Ongoing staffing shortages making it difficult to clean regularly and consistently, combined with a rising cost of labor (especially as society recognizes cleaning as a hazardous job)
  • Maintaining a safe workplace by mitigating biological hazards, dust exposure, slip hazards, and meeting health and safety guidelines

The good news is that there are innovative solutions to help offset the increased workplace sanitation requirements — one solution that can easily be added to the front-line janitorial team is Neo, the autonomous floor scrubbing robot.

Neo will become a key member of the team, regularly and consistently cleaning the facility floors. You can count on Neo to:

  • Provide consistent and regular around-the-clock cleaning — halting the spread of the virus, reducing dust kick-up and creating a safer work environment with timely clean-up of spills
  • Never miss a day of work, so your cleaning schedule is without disruption
  • Meet the new high standards for workplace cleanliness and sanitation by various levels of government while providing cleaning productivity and efficiency metrics that allow you to optimize your cleaning operation

For quick reference, we've included additional safety guidelines from other governments around the world:

Although the recommended cleaning practices outlined in guidelines by governments around the world may seem daunting, including automated floor scrubbers like Neo allows the existing cleaning staff to focus on high-touch surfaces while Neo cleans and sanitizes the floors.

We’re here to help! To learn more about how implementing Neo at your food manufacturing facility can help manage the increased workload of new cleaning requirements, please contact us.

Related articles

Subscribe to the Avidbots blog!

Stay in the know about all things Avidbots plus the latest industry and technology insights.