Article originally published by PBN at written by Susan Shalhoub

PROVIDENCE – When it comes to manufacturers and COVID-19 safety protocols, Rhode Island Manufacturers Association Executive Director Dave Chenevert said external audits done by the R.I. Department of Business Regulation have shown good results.

The manufacturers association’s COVID-19 Designated Internal Auditor program has contributed, he said, and manufacturers are encouraged to participate.

Gov. Gina M. Raimondo and R.I. Department of Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott recently asked each facility to participate in the program.

The program calls for companies to appoint an auditor, or monitor, to oversee aspects of a company’s safety protocols, Chenevert said, with management and employees taking part. Calling it a proactive role, Chenevert said the manufacturers association and Polaris MEP train COVID-19 auditors, offer resources and support compliance.

Responsibilities on the COVID-19 Designated Internal Auditor internal checklist include:

  • Knowledge of the COVID-19 Response Plan.
  • Insuring masks are worn in required areas, as well as adherence to personal protective equipment guidance.
  • Department of Health compliance with poster/signage and checklist.
  • Documentation of daily cleaning schedule.
  • Visual checks of social-distancing adherence in gathering areas, such as breakrooms.
  • Coordination with human resources department regarding employees’ absences and testing status.

Once the document is downloaded, it can be emailed to Efforts also involve wearing a mask in off-work hours to prevent bringing the virus into manufacturing facilities, Chenevert said, especially because the onset of flu season can exacerbate the problem.

“The impact to your facility is the potential cost of overtime, lost production and the shortage of personnel to operate efficiently,” Chenevert said in a statement.