These tests were performed at ambient conditions. Other studies suggest that this time is cut short if the temperature is increased.
Each manufacturing site should have a pandemic plan to protect employees, customers, and vendors health, as well as the business. Companies that do not have a pandemic plan are creating one. Companies that have a plan are updating it. Plans reveal how your site would manage the health and safety of people in a pandemic like the COVID-19 outbreak. It should address other anticipated items like supply chain disruptions and personnel shortages. The IPC has issued a Special Report on COVID-19 and best practices for worker health. It is available on the IPC web site.
Check People Before They Enter the Factory
One of the best ways to keep the virus out of the factory is to check the people coming into the factory. This includes everyone- workers, management, vendors, contractors, friends, and family. No one should be exempted. Screening should include a body temperature scan, and a physical inspection, do they look sick? Each person should be asked if they have been exposed to anyone who has the virus or if they have had any COVID-19 symptoms in the last few weeks. If the answer is yes to any of the questions, they should be temporarily denied access. Just remember, a large percentage of infected people can carry the virus and never show symptoms or, can be contagious prior to showing symptoms.
Social distancing rules of one-meter minimum separation should be maintained whenever possible. This screening process should continue until 60% or more of a population is immune by surviving the virus or by receiving immunity through a vaccine.
Because we are uncertain of who may be spreading the virus, it is essential that each person should have the basic personal protective equipment beforeentering the production area. Once people in the factory have become infected, contact tracing and isolation is the best current method of preventing spread.
Personal Protective Equipment for Production
More protection is needed at work than at home because of a combination of greater exposure risk and higher economic consequences. An outbreak on the line could jeopardize human health, stop production, and send everyone home for a quarantine time of up to two weeks. A chronic ongoing corona infection could cripple a manufacturing company. At home, soap and water and a face covering will usually get us through the day safely.
In the factory, we may not be able to wash our hands every time we handle materials and product. Gloves, hand sanitizers, and conductive finger cots allow us to touch people and materials safely and should be an essential part of a production line PPE. PPE that contacts circuitry such as gloves or finger cots should be ESD safe. Hand lotions are not recommended on the production line. Shoe coverings can keep the floors cleaner if practical.
All masks are not created equally
Face masks are an essential part of the COVID-19 PPE arsenal. Face covering comes in all sizes and shapes. They have been shown to minimize the airborne particles generated when we breath, talk, cough and sneeze. Some are homemade while others meet very stringent requirements. N-95 and level 1-3 ASTM masks, provide filtration levels sufficient to block most viral particles.