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Developing Guidelines in a Pandemic & Post-COVID Greenhouse World

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Best practices for establishing protocols to keep workers safe in North American production greenhouses.

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Developing Guidelines in a Pandemic & Post-COVID Greenhouse World

  1. 1. Developing Guidelines in a Pandemic & Post-COVID Greenhouse World Best practices for establishing protocols to keep workers safe in North American production greenhouses. BILL CALKINS BALL HORTICULTURAL CO. | BALL PUBLISHING MAY, 2020
  2. 2. Keeping Your Greenhouse Germ Free Hand sanitizers, alcohol wipes and bleach should be available in work stations and common areas at all times. In addition, encourage your team to wash hands well with soap and water. Deep clean your facility, including interior and exterior doors, desks, carts, greenhouse equipment, telephones, computer or machine keyboards and warehouse equipment. Once your facility is fully sanitized, institute a handwashing or hand sanitizing policy for employees. Monitor your team’s health. If a staff member looks unwell or has symptoms similar to COVID-19, have them check their temperature with a digital thermometer. If they have a fever, send them home and don’t allow them to return until they either test negative or complete the 14-day incubation period. Social distancing has been proven to reduce the spread of the virus. If possible, maintain a 6-foot radius around each employee. Move desks, workstations and greenhouse equipment if necessary. Adjust work shifts to reduce the number of employees in the greenhouse at any time.
  3. 3. WHAT GREENHOUSES ARE DOING TODAY • Masks Required for everyone at facility • Cleaning Throughout Day • Bathrooms (after every break) • Break Rooms (after every break) • Daily Cleaning • Carts • Tractors • Greenhouse Vehicles • Doors • Lockers • Vending Machines
  4. 4. WHAT GREENHOUSES ARE DOING TODAY • More Best Practices • Post sanitation protocol signage throughout the greenhouse • Mark floor by time clocks to space people 6-feet apart • Do NOT share tools • Discontinue meetings of more than 10 people; fewer than 10 must social distance during meetings • Remove all but NINE chairs from break rooms • Eliminate as many “touchpoints” as possible • Remove trash can lids • Prop open doors • Convert drinking fountains, sinks, paper towels, etc to “touch-free” whenever possible
  5. 5. Best Practices to Reduce Sickness in Your Greenhouse • Reduce crew size • Create smaller teams that spend time on one task vs. larger teams that move from task to task • Add crews/shifts and cross-train • Smaller teams might require additional crews and shifts to increase distance • Train team members to perform another task, allowing for more flexible scheduling • Sticking & Planting Lines • Spread people out (6-ft apart) or position them diagonally down the line • Consider doubling the length of the line to increase worker distance • Install plexiglass barriers between team members if distancing is not possible
  6. 6. Best Practices to Reduce Sickness in Your Greenhouse • Picking & Shipping • Pick by zone, with only one or two people per aisle/area to increase distancing • Loading Trucks • Create an assembly line where team members hand off carts and material • Do not allow multiple people to go in and out of trucks if possible • Preparing Plants & Receiving • Do not divide up the tasks (i.e. one person unboxes, another adds the label and a third loads a cart) • Consider having each team member do all of the tasks within their own space

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