By Amy Susan, Communications Manager
In response to the growing concerns with Covid-19, we developed a page packed with the latest news, tips, resources, and training opportunities to help your manufacturing company navigate the pandemic. Starting with our FREE webinar on Workplace Wellness, we've gathered several resources to arm your company with critical information.
FREE Wellness Webinar
Often, when we think of an organization’s health, financial outlook statements and viability often come to mind. It’s less likely we consider how the organization supports employee health. As we face a global health crisis, it is more important than ever to create a culture of wellness that encourages and promotes the well-being of your employees. Click here to access our Wellness Webinar. (In partnership with AIM)
Now is a great time for manufacturers and companies alike to review their policies, especially if things are slowing down as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Your company should consider reviewing the following:
- Attendance policy to make sure don’t unintentionally encourage employees to come to work sick.
- Cleaning policy-how often do you clean and disinfect common areas like breakrooms, bathrooms, kitchen areas?
- Put up handwashing posters if you don’t already have them up- you can get there here:
- If you have to report illnesses and which ones to OSHA and/or Department of Public Health (DPH).
- Make sure your employee’s know what illnesses they have to report to you as their employer and the “why” behind it-ie that you have to report certain illnesses to OSHA and/or DPH.
- Encourage employees to practice good respiratory hygiene in regards to coughing and sneezing etiquette that minimizes germ spread.
- Create a contingency plan; What if a supplier shut down-how would that impact business operations? If half of your employee’s are out sick-how would that impact operations?
- While CoVid-19 has made this a necessity, the important thing is to sustain the cleaning practices as a proactive and preventative approach to keeping the workplace environment clean going forward. You never know when another health related illness will come about.
You may have noticed the empty shelves at the store where sanitizers and soaps were previously stocked. Can you use the current bottles you have at the office or home? Do they “go bad” after the expiration date? We asked our wellness expert April Schmidt to uncover some of the secrets behind sanitizers.
Can I Safely Use Expired Hand Sanitizer?
Hand sanitizer DOES in fact expire. Sanitizer also become less effective when exposed to heat—for example, if you leave a sanitizer bottle in your car over the warm summer months, that sanitizer may no longer be effective.
Since hand sanitizer is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it’s required by law to have an expiration date and lot number. Look at the packaging of your hand sanitizer. You should see the expiration date, typically printed on the top or back. This expiration date indicates the amount of time that testing has confirmed that the sanitizer’s active ingredients are stable and effective. Typically, the industry standard is 2 to 3 years before hand sanitizer expires.
So -- can you use it after the expiration date?
Even if its concentration has dropped below its original percentage, the product —isn’t dangerous to use-but it may not work effectively. Over time the alcohol (the active ingredient) will begin to evaporate once a sanitizer has been opened, which is what results it the sanitizer not being as effective. Your best bet is to replace it once it’s reached its expiration date, since it may be less effective, where using it creates a false sense of protection.
What active ingredients are found in hand sanitizer?
The active sterilizing ingredients in most hand sanitizers — gel and foam — is ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using hand sanitizers that contain a minimum of 60 percent alcohol.
Make Your Own Sanitizer:
If you want hand sanitizer but can’t find it on the shelves or a bottle at the office/home that is NOT expired, you can make your own. Combine 2/3 cup of rubbing alcohol 70% or higher, 1/3 cup aloe vera gel, and an optional 3-5 drops of an essential oil for fragrance (NOT required). Be sure to also grab a squeeze bottle for dispensing!
As officials have instructed, it is advised the limit the amount of personal contact to avoid the spread of germs. It may be awkward at first, but consider swapping out the traditional handshake, fist bump, or hug for the new “toe tap” (see image). It may require a bit of balance and coordination – but the benefits include avoiding germ prone areas such as the elbow and hands WHILE experiencing a little leg exercise.
(image courtesy of Automobilnews)
During this uncertain time, we know that some of our manufacturers are asking people to work remotely. To help, we’re sharing a link to a complimentary micro course on Leading Virtual Meetings by DDI, a leadership training organization that we belong to. This brand new micro course was produced in partnership with Dr. Steven Rogelberg, who is a leading expert on meetings and wrote the book The Surprising Science of Meetings. Anyone in your organization is welcome to access the course for free by following this link . If you like what you see in the DDI video, please contact us. We also have the ability to offer numerous DDI courses to you once CoVid-19 concerns have subsided.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s Governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration. Missouri Governor Mike Parson declared a State of Emergency for the state because of cases of COVID-19 on Friday, March 13.
- Any such Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration issued by the SBA makes loans available to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations in designated areas of a state or territory to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
- SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will coordinate with the state’s or territory’s Governor to submit the request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance.
- The information on the application process for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance will be made available to all affected communities.
- SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
- These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
- SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
- SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response, and the SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible.
How else can we help? In addition to helping you institute wellness plans, Missouri Enterprise can also partner with your company on Business Continuity Planning and Disaster Recovery and Sustainability. Learn more here. If you are interested in taking advantage of our free Business Continuity Management Gap Analysis Checklist, click here. We have used this checklist to help such august organizations as the World Bank and NGIA.
You can stay current with recent updates regarding this evolving coronavirus situation with this of reputable sources.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
What you Need to Know About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Prevention & Treatment
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services
US Department of State
Current Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 - Travel Advisories https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/novel-coronavirus-hubei-province--china.html
World Health Organization
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice for the Public
Share this newsletter with others within your company or within your network. Be safe. We are here when you need us.
Connect with your Area Business Manager at any time.