Working during COVID-19: How one company is using SCORE Training to keep workers safe

The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted small and medium-sized enterprises all over the world. This case study explores how one enterprise Zhejiang Communication Construction Ltd. (CICO) in Zhejiang, China is using SCORE Training to ensure worker safety during these challenging times.

Article | 16 April 2020
Safety masks have been purchased for all operational staffSafety masks have been purchased for all operational staffonstruction Ltd., known as CICO, enrolled in its first SCORE Training module back in May 2018. Two years on, employees are using SCORE Training principles to maintain safe operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Empowering employees to act

Communication is a foundational element of SCORE Training. In response to COVID-19, CICO quickly implemented a communications strategy to emphasize that pandemic prevention is everyone’s responsibility. A collaborative discussion between management and employees sparked many initiatives in response. Mr. Tang, a front-line employee, suggested using learnings from the fifth training module: Occupational Safety and Health to improve worker safety and disinfection protocols in CICO’s facilities.

Minimizing disinfectant waste

Disinfectant and sanitizers are highly valuable resources during these challenging times and must not be needlessly wasted. Mr. Tang recognized this need and after a discussion with his leader, volunteered to lead the disinfection efforts for his branch’s offices and canteen. He also created a scale for the disinfection equipment which allows employees to easily gauge the correct proportions of water and disinfectant, ensuring nothing is wasted.

Mr. Tang mixing the correct proportion of water with disinfectant

Mr. Tang on his daily disinfection round of the offices and canteen

Protecting employees

Personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks play a vital role in worker safety. The global response to the COVID-19 pandemic has created a significant supply shortage of this equipment. To ensure enough masks are available for employees, CICO broadened their procurement channels and recruited staff in different cities to find more masks. As a result, CICO was able to purchase an additional 1,000 masks to keep their employees safe while at work.

Safety masks have been purchased for all operational staff

Implementing a temperature check program

COVID-19 is easily transmitted through human contact. To keep employees safe, anyone who enters CICO’s facilities must have their temperature checked. Face-to-face contact between colleagues has also been minimized during daily work.

SCORE Training’s “five why’s” principle helped CICO staff solve a key question they faced when setting up an employee temperature check program: How can CICO reduce direct face-to-face contact during temperature checks while also ensuring accuracy and monitoring of results? The team in charge of implementing a temperature check program held a brainstorming session via videoconference to solve this question.

CICO provided thermometers to all on-site employees so they may take their temperature without interacting with their colleagues face-to-face. A dedicated WeChat group was created for employees to upload photos of their temperature measurement at regular intervals throughout the day. These results are then compiled and reviewed by management. Any employees with high temperatures are immediately notified.

Everyone has their temperature taken before entering the building

Keeping discarded masks in their place

CICO employees used the SCORE Training method of 5S to facilitate the overall management of pandemic prevention. Yellow tape marks the area around used mask bins to ensure no one accidentally bumps into them. The bins are also regularly tidied and emptied to reduce the risk of disease transmission.

Using SCORE 5S principles: Marker lines separate bins for discarded masks

These proactive measures have not only lowered CICO’s risks from COVID-19 but also enhanced the motivation of its entire workforce. CICO’s employees are encouraged to take an active role in pandemic prevention measures. As a result, they feel in control of the steps that their workplace is taking to manage the COVID pandemic.

Learnings for other SMEs

What steps can small and medium-sized enterprises take to manage impacts of COVID-19?
1. Identify the challenges your enterprise is facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic
2. Engage your employees early to find solutions to those challenges
3. Empower employees who volunteer to lead pandemic prevention efforts
4. Implement quick, low-cost actions wherever possible to reduce risks
5. Keep the lines of communication open between staff and management
CICO’s experience shows that enterprises can emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger if employees and management work together towards common goals of safety, communication, and collaboration.

Follow-up case study "After COVID-19: Zhejiang Communications Construction Group gets back to work" published on 24 April 2020