Recently, during ProcessMAP’s weekly COVID-19 EHS leadership virtual roundtable, we heard from Rob Loose, Director of Safety for MAU Workforce Solutions, who shared his perspective on how MAU is managing the COVID-19 pandemic and how are they are working towards reopening their operations while maintaining a laser-sharp focus on the health and safety of all their associates.
MAU Workforce Solutions is an innovative global company that provides solutions for success in staffing, recruiting, technology and outsourcing to clients, associates and applicants. Throughout the course of the crisis, they quickly learned to be adaptive in their decision-making processes and recognized that the landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic would be ever-changing. MAU and its customers are responsible for managing the health and safety of nearly 100,000 associates who work at more than 200 locations, which include several of ProcessMAP's customers, including BMW, SKF, John Deere and others. To that end, they put together an adaptive playbook for their associates to return to work amidst COVID-19.
Return to Work - Phase One
In Phase One of MAU’s return-to-work plan, the company is bringing people back to work safely and returning to work efficiently. The company hires many associates for the manufacturing industries with people working in factories ranging from building automobiles to making toilet paper, and has worked with its customers to understand what their COVID-19 return-to-work plans are and whether these plans fit with MAU‘s safety procedures.
All of MAU’s customers are performing some type of screening for people entering customers’ plants and facilities. The EHS team at MAU proactively worked with their customers to ensure that these precautions were adopted - Elevated Body Temperature (EBT) screenings; designated entry and exit points following social distancing protocols; adjusted start times and shift times and designated facility entry and exits; and managing timekeeping systems differently, with fewer touch-type timekeeping systems and more proximity-type systems being used.
MAU prepared a Symptoms Questionnaire based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and has updated it as the CDC guidance has evolved. Each day, every associate is required to answer these questions as they enter the building or the facility. Technology is an important part of MAU’s adaptive approach to fight the spread of the disease.
In manufacturing environments with machines that once employed seven or eight people to operate at a certain tack time, MAU’s customers have had to ramp down the tack time of employees due to social distancing. Additionally, the company and its customers worked together to stagger the work schedules of associates to ensure that there are enough people to operate processes safely and yet account for social distancing.
Return to Work Protocols for Office Environments
MAU has offices in Utah, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. They have implemented a plan that accounts for their associates, and also takes local and state regulations into consideration. The plan for returning to office work is also designed in phases. In Phase One, only essential personnel are allowed back in the work space. These MAU associates are mostly in positions where they have to be present at the building and their job is better performed on the premises. All other MAU associates will stay quarantined and continue to telework.
MAU is leveraging ProcessMAP’s COVID-19 mobile solutions to help their associates perform self-assessments and provide notifications to supervisors and medical staff, eliminating paper-based processes. This has resulted in a more efficient entry protocol for MAU associates.
Return to Work - Phase Two
As MAU prepares to implement Phase Two, they will roll out associate self-screening and incorporate mental health checks through the ProcessMAP app to everyone and continue to protect the more vulnerable by allowing those associates to work from home. They will allow gatherings in common spaces; however, they will have social distancing protocols in place. Travel restrictions will continue to remain in effect.
Return to Work - Phase Three
Technology will be a key enabler for MAU’s Phase Three strategy. They are evaluating various solutions, such as a questionnaire screening app from a local hospital group, which will require respondents to complete questions about their lifestyles and health conditions. Low-risk associates will be invited back into the office, whereas people with very high risk will either be allowed to work from home or will visit the facility for a very limited time, to minimize exposure.
As the COVID-19 landscape continues to evolve on a daily basis and the potential for a second wave of cases towards the end of summer season increases, MAU and ProcessMAP will continue to partner and co-innovate solutions that can help the company bring its large scale of associates back to work in a safe manner, and play a supportive role in bringing some of the manufacturing back to the United States.