How Friterm continues to work safely battling Covid-19
How Friterm continues to work safely battling Covid-19

İstanbul is the most affected City by Covid 19 in Turkey. Concerning health and safety issues at first attitude on priority bases and continuing business activities are difficult tasks during these tough times while there is no nationwide ban in the city. Friterm has taken necessary precautions to continue its business activities since the Covid 19 has been announced by the government. As a manufacturing company, we are writing this article by evaluating the steps we have taken to share our experience which can be a benefit for similar enterprises that struggle the same problem.

Health and Safety: Naturally, the maximum cautions have been taken to protect the health of our employees. We knew that while protecting the health of our employees, we also protected their families' health and contributed to protect public health by reducing the risk of the outbreak. We are aware of the fact that we live together in a society, the whole world and how we can affect each other.

Risk Management: From the beginning of the outbreak, the Management Team, Human Resources, Purchasing and Production Managers started day-to-day evaluations about the pandemic, they discussed about which cautions had to be taken and how to implement them. The decisions were made rapidly so the implementation was fast.

Communication:  Our employees are informed about the new precautions taken by the Risk Management Group and the rules settled and sent which has to be followed by e-mail, sms, and bulletin boards in various parts of the factory daily, sometimes right after the decision made.  The accuracy and continuity of communication was really important due to the high level of anxiety in our employees as in the whole society.

Increasement on hygiene standards: We increased the hygiene standards in all our offices and production areas. For instance, washing hands 20 seconds and according to rules, to place disinfectant on various points, using masks and gloves were some of these measures. In addition, all areas are disinfected periodically, the fingerprint sensor system is disabled and the card reading systems activated.

Social Distancing: Supporting measures are taken to maintain the distance range from 1 to 1.8m, which is expressed by doctors as an effective measure to prevent virus spread. It was relatively easy to achieve in the offices. We directed 65-80% of employees to work at home. We banned the office workers to meet an another employee at their desks, and decided the necessary interviews can be held in the meeting rooms with a defined limited number of employee. The meetings in general are held on the web. Our office work is maintained without disruption.

Thanks to our new facility, our large production area provided the necessary space for social distancing; however, we had to make new rules for the areas where there is more than one person who works. In this process our priority was the health of our employees but not the efficiency. The main difficulty was in the regulation of social spaces in the workplace, we added different lunch shifts to limit the number of people having lunch in the same time , the lunch hall is transformed on a way that enables 2-person cross-sitting on a table, the shuttle hours are rearranged accordingly. The staff are advised to wear their uniforms at home and get into the shuttle with them, for those who had to dress-up in the factory, the entrance of the locker rooms are rearranged in order the rules of social distancing are implemented.  

Health checks and precautions: Our doctor provided the neccessary health reports to stay home for our staff with chronic diseases defined as high risk group. The employees who shows Covid 19 symptoms are asked to stay home and notify the workplace doctor and HR unit to follow-up. By providing the necessary medical equipments, the fever of everyone who enters the facility is measured, and the person or group which provides a risk are not allowed to enter the facility.

Line Division, Autonomy: We don’t call it 1; but 10-15 FRITERM 

Despite all the precautions taken, we divided the factory employees into working groups that will not be in contact each other in order to limit the risk of virus spread during a possible case. A shuttle is organized for each group. Moreover, It is decided that the additional time loss has been counted into working hours during travel to work due to different locations settlement of the employees. Divided Groups are organized to use lunch halls and locker rooms together. At the occuration of a possible case, it is envisaged to isolate only that group.

Controlling external contact: Transporter and supplier who receives or delivers the goods are not allowed to enter the facility. Documents in the delivery and receiving process will be given to the transporter by the Warehouse and Shipping Personnel outside the factory

Postponed activities: We postponed our trainings, meetings and social activities until further notice. The training activities for the sector are temporarily removed from our plan. Instead there will be digital trainings.

Corona positive any time, taking precautions and applying them with care is a must for all of us.

We kindly invite all of our business partners to communicate with us at online platforms. We continue working by using e-mails, phone calls and online meetings. We will do follow and take necessary actions/cautions whatever it has to be taken  by our company and we will pursue the government’s precautions to overcome this pandemic.