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Re-starting your business
guidance for manufacturing businesses

With ongoing Covid restrictions across the UK your business may have needed to change the way it operates or even been closed for extended periods of time. 
Further to the 10 things to consider when re-starting your business, there is specific guidance for manufacturing businesses.

  • Undertake a thorough inspection of your site, including all buildings (interior and exterior), boundary fences, and gates
  • Check fire and intruder alarm protection, CCTV, access control coverage and guarding provisions
  • Consider removal or restriction of touch points where practical, such as vending machines and other canteen equipment for general employee use
  • Check adequate and suitable welfare facilities are available, including areas for safely changing and storing clothing and personal protective equipment. Where overalls and other personal protective equipment are provided, review laundry arrangements.
  • Check the adequacy of arrangements for social distancing to avoid close working, including the use of vehicles and plant, machinery and equipment; careful management of meetings and training delivery; improved signage, physical barriers and use of personal protective equipment.
  • Review IT and cyber security processes and procedures.
  • Carry out enhanced cleaning, disinfection and sanitisation regimes covering the workplace in its entirety, both pre and post re-opening. Include company vehicles, forklift trucks, pallet trucks etc. in your cleaning regime, and ensure this is recorded and covers on-going expectations / requirements.
  • As well as updating fire risk assessments to keep your premises and people safe, ensure storage and use of any alcohol-based, flammable sanitisers is clear of ignition sources (for example, electrical equipment, hot surfaces, smoking areas etc.) and ideally store them within purpose designed flammable liquid cabinets, or otherwise, steel cabinets. Further support can be found on our flammable and explosive materials page.
  • Undertake a thorough inspection of utility services (including water systems and any other potential sources of legionella, such as cooling towers, evaporating condensers and power facilities for production equipment), machinery and plant, storage arrangements, any hazardous operations, emergency back-up systems and safety equipment. Check for and correct any unsafe or abnormal conditions, such as damage, maintenance issues, leaks, faulty safety and emergency systems, improper housekeeping or storage, signs of vandalism or theft. Our equipment checklist may assist you.
  • Review procedures and safe systems of work specific to machinery interventions, such as cleaning, servicing, maintenance and repair. Allow sufficient time in your planning to recommission previously shut down machinery and plant in line with all standard operating procedures (SOPs) and manufacturers’ guidelines.
  • Complete and reinstate any inspection, testing and maintenance procedures (including those of a statutory nature) that may have lapsed since the shutdown. This includes utility services (both for the buildings and production needs), machinery and plant (for example, air receivers and compressors, vehicle lifting equipment and forklift trucks), emergency systems, vehicles etc. Our equipment checklist may assist you, in addition to external guidance such as that provided by the HSE.  
  • Check machinery guarding and interventions, adequacy and safety of storage racking, emissions control equipment, noise control equipment, process related safety equipment (relating to prevention of fire / explosion for instance), pollutants control, other waste management plant, control equipment for hazardous substances etc. Further support can be found in our general manufacturing and forklift truck pre-use checks page. 
  • Competent persons should verify that all protection / detection systems, including fire sprinkler / suppression systems, fire pumps, water supplies, fire alarm systems, intruder alarm systems, CCTV, access controls are in service and functioning correctly.
  • Ensure that returning furloughed employees and operatives are familiar with site and plant operations.
  • Review support (practical and well-being) for any employees who continue to work from home.
  • Ensure your employees have the competence and capability for the work activities to be carried out, through the necessary skills, training and licensing requirements. Additional employee training programmes and / or certification, instruction, information and supervision may be required, where there is an insufficient number of competent employees, or where new processes, machinery and plant require new skill sets. Refer to your “return-to-work-policy” (where in place), as this will provide structure to ensuring your employees are ‘fit for work’, with mental health and well-being considered, in addition to physical fitness.
  • Requirements around social and physical distancing are likely to impact the practicalities of training delivery, including induction and toolbox talks. This should be considered as part of the risk assessment process, including available facilities, numbers that can be safely accommodated, duration, and potential barriers to communication.
  • In reviewing training arrangements and competency requirements, give specific consideration to the availability and responsibilities of key personnel, including:
    - Senior managers;
    - Human Resources and Health, Safety & Environmental personnel;
    - Department managers / supervisors;
    - Appropriately qualified technicians and plant / machinery operators;
    - Maintenance personnel;
    - First aiders; and
    - Fire marshals. 
  • Check expired tickets, certificates and interim measures. A number of the trade organisations have sites indicating interim arrangements where training may have expired. 
  • Further support can be found on our training page.

The risk management information and guidance provided herein is not intended to be advice for any specific requirements.

Readers should seek further advice when dealing with their individual and particular situations. Allianz Insurance plc shall have no liability for any action taken as a result of and in reliance on the information contained in this document. The information contained in this document is correct at date of going to print and may be subject to change at any time.  All rights reserved