Infectious Disease & Pandemic Policy
It is the intention of Paper Machinery Corporation to proactively protect the workplace in the event of an infectious disease outbreak or pandemic. We are committed to providing authoritative information about the nature and spread of infectious diseases, including symptoms and signs to watch for and actions to be taken in the event of an illness or outbreak. During any time of quarantine or infectious disease outbreak, it is our goal to ensure staff safety while operating effectively and continuously providing all essential services.
Alan Schmidt, Director of Human Resources, and Jim Fritz, Plant Superintendent, will be designated to monitor and coordinate events around an infectious disease outbreak, as well as create work rules that could be implemented to promote safety through infection control.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in humans and many different species of animals. As of early March 2020, a new string of Coronavirus, version COVID-19, is spreading rampantly in China and some limited transmission has been reported in other countries, including the United States.
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness which symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms can be mild to severe and last anywhere from 2-14 days.
How is Coronavirus Spread?
Primarily: Person-to-person; close contact with someone who is infected.
Secondarily: Surfaces or objects; touching the mouth, nose, or eyes after contracting the bacteria.
Is There Reason to be Concerned About an Outbreak in the United States?
At this time, most people in the United States will have little immediate risk of exposure to this virus. As of early March 2020, the virus is NOT spreading widely in the United States. However, it is important to note that current global circumstances suggest it is likely that is virus will cause a pandemic. This is a rapidly evolving situation and the risk assessment will be updated as needed.
What Should You Do To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19?
1.) Wash hands frequently and thoroughly. Use soap and warm water, lathering for at least 20 seconds. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers (60-95% alcohol) may be used supplementally, but should not be substituted for hand-washing when that option is available.
2.) Limit physical contact. Avoid handshakes and direct hand contact with doors, elevator buttons, etc. Using a closed fist, knuckles, or hip to open doors, press switches, etc. can go a long way.
3.) Stay home when you’re sick. Employees should stay home when they’re sick. Return to work only once you’ve been symptom-free for at least 24 hours. Generous paid time off is provided in an effort to ensure that employees do not attend the workplace while displaying symptoms of illness. Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4°F or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medications (e.g., cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
4.) Cover coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue to cover coughs and sneezes, then discard it immediately and wash your hands. If a tissue is unavailable, use your elbow or upper sleeve to cover your mouth and nose. Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands.
5.) Keep the environment clean. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as work stations, countertops, door knobs, light switches, and remote controls. While we continue standard practices for facility cleanliness, we are taking additional measurements to keep all of our common areas disinfected and are adding hand sanitizing stations and supplies throughout the building including our administrative offices and common areas.
6.) Take precautions when traveling. As a precaution, if you are planning a trip out of the state for business or leisure, we are asking that you notify your supervisor of your plans including the destination and dates. Should you be planning to travel internationally, we recommend employees check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel.
7.) Notify HR of exposure. If you are well but have a sick family member with COVID-19, notify HR so that they can discuss a confidential plan for containment with you.
What Will PMC Do To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19?
PMC will stay appraised of the CDC’s evolving recommendations for avoidance and containment of COVID-19. We do not have reason to expect that there will be any disruption to daily work
nor operations. At this time, we can keep staff and visitors safe by following all prevention recommendations above for maintaining a clean and healthy environment. Please do your part to help maintain a clean work environment.
Actions PMC Will Take Immediately:
Ensure hand washing supplies are always well stocked and that hand sanitizer is available in areas without hand washing sinks.
Have tissues readily available throughout the company.
Sanitize frequently touched surfaces (door knobs, light switches, elevator buttons, etc.)
Keep sanitizing wipes in common areas for users to clean objects and equipment before/after touching.
Utilize internal communication channels (primarily email) to notify employees of any urgent action needed.
As a precaution, if you are planning a trip out of the state for business or leisure, we are asking that you notify your supervisor of your plans including the destination and dates. Should you be planning to travel internationally, we recommend employees check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel.
Actions PMC May Take If Recommended by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services in Conjunction with the CDC:
Close the plant to the public until the threat has dissipated. Encourage or mandate telecommuting for non-essential personnel.
Provide additional paid time off if a pandemic is declared in Milwaukee (city or county) for an extended period of time.
Cancel non-essential business travel.
Require mandatory overtime or an increase in scheduled hours to ensure essential services are met.
More information about COVID-19 can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html