(The Center Square) – Manufacturers in Missouri are proving adept at adjusting on the fly in the battle to safeguard their facilities from COVID-19.
With the virus’s known ability to quickly spread in places where employees work in close proximity translating into several area meat processing plants across the state being hit with some of the highest infection rates, industry leaders have gone above and beyond in taking added safety precautions.
“Six feet is our first line of defense,” said Burgers’ Smokehouse president Steven Burger. “With the face masks and other interventions, we think we can kind of accomplish what you can accomplish with six feet, but also with protective measures.”
Taking the temperatures of workers as they come and go has also become standard operation at many pants, as have realigning work stations to make for more distancing and adjusting break periods to ensure more spacing between employees.
“We tried to kind of keep our mind open to information from our colleagues in the industry but also national trade organizations ... everybody from the CDC down to our local health department here,” Burger added of the changes.
With several plants, including Burgers, having to close their doors at some point because of outbreaks among workers, U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Missouri, recently sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stressing the importance of the government providing clear direction about steps companies can take to keep facilities and operations safe.
“We must get these plants reopened safely as soon as possible,” she said in a statement.