Home Interviews Striking a balance; Gary McGuinness, Humanscale, Dublin

Striking a balance; Gary McGuinness, Humanscale, Dublin

‘Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the long lasting effects that it will have on society and our work places, we will be adapting our current Health and Safety management system to include new procedures that we have introduced to improve; Hygiene, Well Being and Work practices. This will/may include new Work from Home initiatives, New factory layouts, greater emphasize on Hygiene, and Social Distancing’, says Gary McGuinness – Production Process Improvement Manager, Humanscale, Dublin


Today, we celebrate World Day for Safety and Health at Work. Tell us how Humanscale is going to be following it – now and post crisis.

As we return to the workplace, we have to create healthier environments with reduced opportunities to transmit germs and viruses. Should we say,  “business as usual”; but “business unusual”. After all, in many ways we adopt the safety measures:

  • Social Distancing, Factory Floor, Canteen, Offices
  • Work From Home – Now that COVID-19 has promoted this practice, and that personnel well-being encourages the work from home ethics, it is definitely something we will be looking to utilise in the future post COVID-19
  • Additional Cleaning / Sanitizing measures
  • Increased PPE – Gloves, Masks, Visors
  • Staggered Break / Lunch Times in all operations
  • New Visitor/Contractor Procedures
  • Increased H&S Signage, COVID-19, Hygiene etc.
  • Information Screens utilised for COVID-19 updates
  • Cancelled Business Travel
  • Team meetings conducted on-Line

In addition:

Chemical substance: We strive when possible to use water-based chemicals as much as possible. All in-house chemicals are reviewed annually, and alternatives sourced when available. All chemicals will have a unique safety data sheet, which highlights handling, storage, and exposure controls.

Dust Fibres and Air Pollution: Floor areas and workstations cleaned every day to prevent the gathering of dust, and improve air quality.

Noise and Vibration: Annual audits of noise pollution, all appropriate PPE in place and enforced Fire Evacuation Procedures and annual drills, Fire Wardens trained in all areas, appropriate fire-fighting equipment throughout factory.

Ergonomic Considerations: All employees are trained in manual handling. Office equipment and workstations are all designed with ergonomic considerations in mind.

Health and Safety Management, Workplace Hygiene and Spatial Design. Are we hoping to see anything new?

Health and Safety management: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the long lasting effects that it will have on society and our work places, we will be adapting our current Health and Safety Management System to include new procedures that we have introduced to improve; Hygiene, Well Being and Work practices. This will/may include new Working from home initiatives, New factory layouts, greater emphasize on Hygiene, and Social Distancing.

Workplace Hygiene: Improved practices implemented around hygiene will be kept on post COVID-19. This will include the wearing of gloves and the increased washing and sanitising of hands, workstations and office equipment.

Spatial Design: Measures put in place due to COVID-19 have improved the layout of the factory floor. It has changed both our visitor procedures and processes around how we deal with deliveries and contractors, giving us a more proceduralized formal method of dealing with external visitors.

On stress and psychosocial risks, both in office and factory – any new measures, post crisis?

Men and women are treated with equal respect on these issues. We already have a company-wide Employee Assistance programme in place that encourages employees to seek help if required in the following areas; Health & Fitness, Legal advice, Personal & Family Issues, Work Issues and Managing Money.

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