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Four Areas Mueller Is Focusing on to Get Back to Business Post-COVID-19


Four Areas Mueller Is Focusing on to Get Back to Business Post-COVID-19

By now, it’s clear COVID-19 isn’t going away anytime soon.

After months of staying home and trying to flatten the curve, it’s time for students to get back into the classroom and companies to bring back workers to do business.

At Mueller, we are closely following the recommendations of the CDC to ensure we are doing everything in our power to provide a hygienic and safe work environment for our employees.

Here are the four areas we’re focusing on to get back to business post-COVID-19 and how our operation is functioning despite the pandemic.

What Are the Steps Mueller Is Taking to Get Back to Business?

Because we are an essential business—and many of our customers are as well—we understand the importance of maintaining continuity in the workforce with social distancing, restricted movement, cleaning practices, and remote work.

Social Distancing and Use of Space

At Mueller, we embrace social distancing and try to incorporate it into every aspect of our operation as we navigate COVID-19.

We are taking advantage of having two parking lots and assigning half of the staff to one area and the other half to the second area. This makes entry into the building less congested. We are fortunate to have a lot of space—about 14 feet—already built-in between the machines in the plant.

Mueller posts occupancy limitations in all of the offices, conference rooms, break rooms, and shops. Operators are required to leave their work cells if their equipment needs to be repaired. This allows for social distancing among production, engineering, and maintenance employees.

We divide up employee breaks and lunches to be able to accommodate the staff who must work inside the building. Only one person is allowed per table in the cafeteria. Our seating chart is arranged so that workers from different shifts sit at every other desk.

Restricted Movement and Limited Contact

Mueller restricts movement inside the building by encouraging the production staff to stay in their areas and call for help if they need something. We are using more two-way radios in the plant to decrease in-person interactions and reduce activity throughout the facility.

Our operators are responsible for everything inside their work cells. This means material handlers and production assistants do not have to enter their spaces to deliver materials, take away finished goods, or remove trash cans.

Mueller limits contact among employees by requiring masks or face shields to be worn the entire time staff is inside the facility. We have clear polycarbonate dividers between all desks inside the plant. We’re working to install touchless bathroom fixtures for sinks, toilets, hand dryers, and light switches.

“We are trying to be very proactive about how we approach it to make sure we’re taking care of everybody that works here,” said Brad Eudy, Engineering Manager.

Four Areas Mueller Is Focusing on to Get Back to Business Post-COVID-19

 

Cleaning and Monitoring Practices

Mueller has a commercial cleaning company come in every Sunday to clean the entire building with antiviral and antibacterial disinfectant. We manufacture our own face shields, hand sanitizer, and surface-cleaning solutions and distribute those supplies to every essential employee.

We monitor the health of our employees who come to work in our facility. Everyone entering the building—including contractors, truck drivers, and visitors—must have their temperature taken with a non-contact thermometer. We are planning to install medical-grade air purifying systems in our rooftop HVAC units.

Mueller supports our workers’ mental health as well as their physical health. We have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) program to help anyone who is suffering from stress that the pandemic may have been causing them or their family.

“We’re socially-minded, helping people put family first, and really understanding this is unprecedented,” Eudy said.

Remote Work and Virtual Meetings

Before the pandemic began, every Mueller office employee who could work remotely was sent home. Our IT team was able to move fast and get everyone one up and running from their home offices. Those workers continue to do their jobs outside the plant.

We have a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) and phone system, which enables our nonproduction workforce to function remotely. We hold weekly Zoom meetings with all employees to keep everyone up to date with current situations related to COVID-19.

“We’re adapting, and I’m really proud of what everyone here has been able to do,” said Eudy,

How Mueller Is Focusing on Getting Back to Business

Now you know how Mueller is focusing efforts to get back to business post-COVID-19 and implementing the necessary steps for success and safety.

As we continue to explore best practices in social distancing, restricted movement, cleaning methods, and remote work, we are closely monitoring developments around COVID-19, moving forward with our operations, and adjusting policies and procedures as needed.

“Keep the business moving in the right direction and also do some things that are beneficial to society while we’re doing it,” Eudy said.

Fortunately, Mueller has not experienced any production or raw material supply chain issues related to COVID-19.

Mueller has learned to prioritize and manage the health and wellbeing of our employees, as well as the need for companies like ours to coexist with the virus. By implementing our business continuity plan, we are better able to support our employees, business partners, and customers.

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