An Occupational Safety leader for one of the largest and most iconic European automotive companies recently joined ProcessMAP’s weekly EHS leadership and COVID-19 virtual roundtable to share experiences related to his company’s adoption of digital solutions offered by ProcessMAP to efficiently respond and manage their journey through the COVID-19 pandemic. From mid-March until June, production at the North American manufacturing plant was interrupted due to COVID-19. At first, the safety team believed that the interruption would be brief and temporary. However, they soon realized that with a constantly and rapidly evolving health and safety landscape, their initial approach to manage the situation was neither adequate nor quickly scalable.
This initial COVID-19 response and management process adopted by the company included using their Human Resources Service Center, a centralized help desk for HR-related issues, as a resource for reporting COVID-19 cases. The company needed several full-time HR specialists to field and document COVID-19-related calls, manage contact tracing and follow up with potential exposure-related cases. By July and amidst a situation where COVID-19 related cases continued to rise rapidly across the United States and several other countries, the company realized this manual process for tracking cases was not sustainable. What they needed was a digital solution that was scalable, intuitive, easy-to-use and rapidly deployable for a more sustainable approach that could be followed by managers and safety leaders.
Having used ProcessMAP’s EHS platform to manage the health and safety of employees, the company leveraged ProcessMAP’s highly versatile mobile platform to build a customized app that could support their specific COVID-19 reporting and tracking workflows. With support and collaboration from the ProcessMAP team, the company was able to build and thoroughly test and roll out the app, and provide user training for all supervisors.
Key Steps in the Process
- Transitioned the HR services center responsibilities to the front line supervisors who were authorized to decide whether or not an employee could return to work
- Created an Out of Work workflow that focused on symptoms; if an employee had symptoms then they were not to come to work
- Implemented a very strict policy on face coverings and social distancing
- Return to Work (RTW) criteria was simplified to be symptom-free for at least 72 hours without the use of symptomatic relief medication
- Included contact tracing within the app
Supervisor COVID-19 Decision Process
When an associate reports a COVID-19 case with symptoms or a positive test to their supervisor, the supervisor opens up the app to fill out the information. The supervisor is then responsible to decide whether the person goes out of work. if an associate provides test results or a doctor’s note, the supervisor then enters that data into the screening form available on the app. As and when an associate meets the return-to-work criteria, and if they have been symptoms-free for at least the preceding 72 hours without the use of medication, they are allowed to return to work, and that information is captured in the screening form as well.
With on-site testing in place, if an associate tests positive, the supervisor completes a tracking form for those individuals. The team would consider the work-related exposure at that point, and begin the process of contact tracing.
It was important that the supervisors understood the rules and the authority they have to make decisions. Using the ProcessMAP app, the supervisors now have the tools to make the right decisions. All decisions follow the first question, does an associate have a temperature greater than 100.4 and the normal symptoms? If the answer is yes, different fields open on the form, including whether the associate has been tested for COVID-19. Supervisors entered information on the COVID-19 screening app the same way as they report work-related incidents and injuries. Additionally, the supervisors and the various safety stakeholders could easily and in real-time check whether or not their respective areas were complying with the social distancing and safety requirements.
What had been a cumbersome and manual process dependent on paper-forms and spreadsheets has been transformed digitally, allowing the safety leaders to gain critical data intelligence in real-time and access rich data visualizations. The human resources employees have returned to their regular responsibilities, and the safety team is now able to proactively and efficiently manage the return-to-work processes for employees.
To learn more about how ProcessMAP can help digitally transform your health and safety initiatives, or help you manage your response to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, sign up for a free trial today!