Plumbing manufacturers continue to support the country during the COVID-19 crisis, creating many crucial products, such as faucets, toilets and emergency showers needed by first responders. Identified as essential by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), plumbing manufacturing workers are producing these products while heeding protective measures outlined by federal, state and local guidelines to keep their workers as healthy and safe as possible.
The crisis and resulting changes have shined a light on a new reality for plumbing manufacturers. In response to surveys issued by PMI about the coronavirus’ impact, several PMI members say that doing business in the age of COVID-19 has proven challenging. However, they remain committed to worker safety while serving the critical plumbing products needs of residential, commercial and not-for-profit customers, including hospitals, nursing homes, food production facilities, military bases, and other essential workplaces.
For example, PMI member Reliance Worldwide Corporation (RWC) said it has put together a COVID-19 response task force with the top priority of protecting the health and safety of employees, customers and suppliers, according to an RWC COVID-19 update on the company’s website. RWC has made changes to its operating procedures at all plants and distribution centers to lessen potential exposure to coronavirus, such as requiring employees to work from home and restricting travel. In addition, RWC – along with PMI members including Sloan Valve Company and Moen Incorporated – say they are taking workers’ temperatures to help minimize the virus’ spread.
“If we do have to venture into the office, we have to abide by social distancing guidelines, and also check our temperature before going in,” said John Bertrand, manager – compliance, Moen. “We’ve really embraced online conferencing for everything.” The office and plants have launched advanced cleaning measures and offer personal protective equipment in many locations throughout the buildings, he added.
PMI member Duravit posted a COVID-19 update on its website, calling attention to a new safety policy of requiring warehouse employees to work in two shifts to isolate receiving and shipping departments, and rotating days for management to work in the company office vs. their home offices.
Fisher Manufacturing, another PMI member, shared details of its response to COVID-19 on the company’s website, explaining the importance of employee safety. “We have instructed any employee who feels sick to not come into work. We are following the latest guidance from local, state and federal health officials, including the CDC recommendations on sanitation practices,” the update stated.
PMI members created these COVID-19 policies by working within public health guidelines established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The bottom line for all PMI members during, and after, this crisis remains safety first – for workers, customers and suppliers helping to produce and distribute essential plumbing products – and the public, as they use those products.
Read additional PMI member COVID-19 policies and updates:
If your company has COVID-19 safety information that you’d like to see mentioned in a future issue of Ripple Effect, send the information to Jodi Stuhrberg, PMI association manager, email@example.com.