Protecting team members at our manufacturing sites

At Smiths Detection, safety comes first. Always. Our products ensure the safety of people and infrastructure all over the world, and we make it a priority to keep our colleagues safe, wherever they work.

 

As well as regular training on safety issues, we have a “safety moment” at the start of every meeting so that everyone always keeps safety in mind.

When the Covid-19 pandemic started, there was no hesitation from Smiths Detection in acting quickly to put in place a host of protective measures to keep our team members safe.

 

“Our people understand that our customers are an important part of nations infrastructure and they’re willing to help.”

Our six manufacturing sites in three continents – Europe, North America, and Asia – employ around 900 people. In January Smiths Detection responded to the Covid-19 crisis by putting in place all necessary measures to protect our colleagues, not just at these sites, but all sites as it has moved across the globe.

We followed both guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and national requirements and “stay-at-home” measures. The key steps taken in our manufacturing sites have been:

  • Ensuring that everyone who can work from home does so – this reduces the number of people in the building using common areas – including canteens, stairwells and lifts – and touching door handles and other surfaces.
  • Introducing novel ways to open doors, so people touch them less with their hands.
  • In the canteens, one-way walking paths have been set-up, screens have been installed to protect catering colleagues, and the number of seats reduced to create more space between people eating.
  • Nightly disinfection of common spaces plus team members taking responsibility for themselves and their colleagues by cleaning their own spaces in the morning and the evening.

On top of these measures, individual sites have been innovative in coming up with solutions to improve safety in relation to Covid-19.

Our Wiesbaden site in Germany developed social-distancing signage throughout the site to ensure safety among colleagues. At Hemel Hempstead in the UK, hands-free door openers were provided to reduce the number of contact points for potential virus transmission. And at our site in the Netherlands, elevator sticks were provided to enable people to press lift buttons and open doors without needing to touch them with their hands.

 

Speaking of her site lead for Smiths Detection Newark, Vandana Chellani said, “People who are in the office are satisfied with the measures taken and they’re happy to contribute to our mission of making the world a safer place; they understand that our customers are an important part of nations infrastructure and they’re willing to help.”

We understand the importance of our colleague’s mental well being and remind colleagues how to access confidential support through Smiths’ dedicated employee assistance programme, where colleagues can speak with experienced counsellors through a wide range of personal, work and family related concerns.

 

“They believe in the mission of the company and want to continue to support the company however they can.”

As well as taking these safety measures, Smiths Detection has taken every step to communicate them effectively to all colleagues, including making all our guidance and support information available to our people 24/7 through our Smiths Now colleague app.

“People have been very understanding of the situation and appreciate the constant communication,” says Joan Latham, site lead at the Edgewood manufacturing site in the USA. “They believe in the mission of the company and want to continue to support the company however they can.  They are always asking what else they can do to help.  It is a positive attitude amongst the employees on the floor, and those that need to be home appreciate the accommodations that were made for them.”

At the Johor Bahru manufacturing facility in Malaysia, site lead Wai Shyuan Ong says that colleagues are happy to come back to work after the government granted approval for team members to return to work to continue supporting our customers in essential infrastructure: “It provides a sense of normality for our team members , even with all the extra safety measures.”