The global Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in significant and escalating numbers of confirmed infection cases across the world and in South Africa, and it is predicted that a substantial percentage of the population will be exposed to Covid-19 at some point. Tiger Brands has therefore been pragmatic about the likelihood of potential staff infections at any of its manufacturing, distribution or office sites. To ensure that the organisation is adequately prepared for a confirmed Covid 19 case scenario, the company’s Executive Committee constituted a special Covid-19 Task Force Team which meets daily to address and respond to any company-related concerns.
Food manufacturing forms part of essential services within South Africa. Therefore, we have followed a pre-emptive preparatory approach to quickly, safely and responsibly respond to both suspected and confirmed cases of Covid-19 among employees. This includes a well-developed Health and Safety protocol specifically designed for Covid-19, which is inclusive of the steps that each site will follow in the case of a suspected or confirmed Covid 19 case. It is also important to note that Covid-19 is a notifiable disease and that in the event of a confirmed case of Covid-19, the protocols outlined by the Department of Health and the NICD are triggered.
Focused Employee Safety during the National Lockdown
Ensuring the health and safety of our employees, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, is our biggest priority. As a result, we have implemented the following measures during the national lockdown.
- Identified which factories and product lines within selected factories are to remain operational to ensure that as many people as possible stay at home during the national lockdown to help flatten the curve.
- Procured private transport for staff at almost all our operational factories for their commute to and from work, ensuring that strict hygiene protocols are followed for sanitizing vehicles and social distancing guidelines are adhered to in line with regulations;
- Staff at all operational factories are provided with surgical masks and hand sanitizers for additional safety & hygiene support;
- Staggered shifts at operational factories where possible, to help limit the number of employees at work at any given time;
- Implemented additional deep cleaning protocols across all factories and common areas (such as in the canteens, ablution facilities, change rooms, etc.) over and above the current rigorous hygiene and safety protocols in place;
- Increased health screening for all our staff at each factory;
- Brought-on additional support through our wellness service provider to support staff across the organisation;
- Amplified and enhanced health & safety awareness around Coronavirus across the organisation, through verbal, print, digital and mobile communication channels;
- Reworked the principles of leave to ensure that anyone requiring additional sick leave is accommodated.