Among the challenges to business brought about by coronavirus is making people and operations Covid-Secure in line with government guidelines.
Unipart implemented safety measures ahead of those guidelines in March, and has continually sought to improve those measures as more information, learning and advice on Covid-19 has become available.
For Unipart people, this process of continuous improvement is part of their culture. Using the creative problem solving tools and techniques of The Unipart Way, and exploring the issues through a digital lens, employees throughout the company are coming up with innovative ways to keep their colleagues safe.
Here are four examples of how employees are coming together from across the Group to create a safer workplace using The Unipart Way.
For people on site, frequent touch points in communal areas (like door handles) are one of the biggest risks to coronavirus transmission. Unipart has been using 3D printers to build prototype products and casings for digital technology for some time, so employees put it to alternative use.
Using a common design and renewable materials, the Unipart team in Oxford is now printing and using safe door openers to reduce contact points across operations. There’s even a ‘pointy bit’ to press buttons on security doors.
More than 200 door openers have been printed at the Instrumentel site in Leeds so far, as well as 450 devices for use within Unipart Rail. There are plans for another 5,000 to use across Unipart Logistics and Unipart Rail.
The Art Room restaurant at Unipart House has been providing food and hot drinks to essential workers on site throughout lockdown. Along with the rest of the company, the Art Room was ahead of the curve to introduce social distancing and additional hygiene measures ahead of government guidelines. As part of this push lone dining – one person at a table two metres away from all others – was introduced in the communal restaurant space to make it safer.
But now the Unipart Logistics team in Cowley has now made it possible for Art Room customers to lunch together safely by producing table dividers.
Water dispensing machines pose a significant coronavirus transmission risk. In making Unipart workplaces Covid-Secure, strict social distancing and frequent cleaning regimes were introduced around water dispensers, and hand hygiene stations were placed nearby.
At Unipart House in Oxford, the facilities team went one step further. Literally. They have adapted water dispensers to be pedal operated, removing the need to press buttons to dispense water and therefore reducing the number of touchpoints.
The option can be fitted to existing machines and the team has reviewed the locations of all dispensers to reduce the number on site. The savings in rental should fund the installation of pedal options.
Unipart encourages everyone who can work at home effectively to do so, but for those returning to the open plan office to resume duties at Unipart Dorman, an issue has arisen. The increase in the number of video conferencing calls has led to disruptive noise levels in the office.
The solution has been to implement Andon lights so someone on a call can easily signify when they would like colleagues to respect quiet. Signs at the office entrance and briefings to all employees make everyone aware of the new process.