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Controls to Reduce COVID-19 Exposure Risk

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Updated: June 3, 2020

COVID-19 Controls to Reduce Exposure Risk

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1. When CoorsTek team members temporarily relocate from one plant location to another, there is a higher risk of transmission. There is also an increased exposure for close-contacts who may be required to quarantine should one of the relocated employees become ill with the virus. Therefore, KN95 masks must be worn by the relocated employee and employees in nearby workstations at all times. If the relocation is longer than two weeks, KN95 masks are only required during the first two weeks. The relocated team member may transition to surgical masks or cloth masks based on the work environment. Social distancing should be maintained to the extent possible.


2. In locations where team members may line up or gather (time clocks, points of entry, vending machines, cafeterias, break areas, smoking area, etc.) there is a higher risk of transmission. These areas must be visually marked to indicate proper social distancing (6 feet or 2 meters).


3. Employee training (cross training, orientation, etc.), may be difficult to do while maintaining social distancing. Instead, trainers should video the process they are going to teach and provide that video to the trainees. To address trainee questions, the trainer can demonstrate live (everyone in the group wearing KN95 masks) and minimize time spent in close quarters.


4. Surface contact to commonly used tools and equipment (micrometers, hand tools, forklifts, time clocks, pallet jacks, etc.) is another potential transmission point. Employees must disinfect these shared items themselves prior to each use using an approved cleaner for COVID-19.


5. Changing rooms can become crowded before and after shifts and therefore must be considered common areas. Masks must be worn while in changing rooms as social distancing cannot be guaranteed.


6. Small areas that are poorly ventilated with fresh air (from either the HVAC system or open doors/windows) are more susceptible to viral spread. If there are multiple team members in small areas like this, KN95 masks (if social distancing is not possible) or surgical masks must be worn at all times.


7. Communal meals and shared drinking containers are difficult to keep clean. They also encourage more gathering of people, potentially violating social distancing boundaries. In addition to touching shared utensils, water droplets can settle on uncovered food. Communal meals and shared drinking containers should be eliminated until further notice. When communal meals and shared drinking containers are allowed again, proper PPE, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies and food coverings should be provided.


8. Floor fans are commonly used in our facilities for cooling both parts and team members. However, there could be a slightly elevated risk of recirculating airborne water droplets with the virus. Again, wearing masks should help reduce this risk, however, fans should be used in open areas or with open doors/windows to the extent possible and be aimed to prevent air flow to transfer between breathing zones. For example, fans can be elevated and blowing down, or fans can be reversed to pull air out of the breathing zone and toward fresh air or ventilation to exhaust out of the area.


9. Restrooms have many high touch areas that can increase the risk of spread. To combat this, locations should install no-touch towel and soap dispensers in restrooms to avoid multiple touch points.


10. High touch areas include door handles and light switches. Our first line of defense is to clean these surfaces multiple time per day and practice good hygiene. However, to eliminate the risk, plants should consider installing motion sensor light switches, remove or prop open unnecessary doors or install automatic doors.


11. Water fountains are another source of potential transmission of the virus. Until further notice, employees should avoid drinking directly from the fountain. Signs should be placed at water fountains to indicate that they are only to be used to fill containers, or water fountains could be replaced with bottle filling dispensers.


12. When deliveries are made to receiving areas, delivery truck drivers may occasionally enter our facility for a brief moment to complete paperwork or deliver materials in the receiving area. If these service providers do not linger in the building and they are wearing masks, they do not have to go through our Visitor Screening process.


13. Cubicles are often spaced to allow for proper social distancing. If not, it may be difficult and time consuming to change the layout. Team members who cannot avoid social distancing within cubicle or shared office environments must wear masks.


14. Some tasks on the production floor required two-man lifts due to the size and weight of a material. This may require team members to be very close to each other. For these cases, KN95 masks should be worn by both parties.


15. If employees in cubicle areas have a stand-up desk option that would potentially allow them to disperse water droplets over a barrier to another cubicle, they should refrain from standing or wear a mask when standing until plexi-glass can be installed to minimize exposure. Once plexi-glass is installed, masks can be removed in this situation.


16. Some team members may carpool with people outside their household to get to work. If team members do this, all parties in the car should wear a KN95 mask.


17. Ensuring proper ventilation and introducing fresh air can minimize any risk of virus-carrying water droplets from being distributed in large areas. Wearing masks is our first line of defense to minimize the amount of water vapor in the air to begin with, but plants should evaluate ventilation systems to make sure filters are changed, running efficiently and have been adjusted to introduce as much fresh air as possible (keeping product quality in mind). When possible, open doors or windows to allow fresh air.


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