Supporting our healthcare system and adapting to the ‘new normal’

June 8th, 2020 | Gennaro D’Andrea, General Manager of Lincotek Medical Division, explains how we are staying both safe and productive, as well as the steps we have taken to support our community during the emergency.

2020 has been immensely challenging for businesses around the world, but at Lincotek Medical, the coronavirus crisis has hit particularly close to home. Our base is in northern Italy, a region very badly affected by the disease.

It’s an issue we’d already been forced to confront in China early in the year, as our manufacturing plant in Wuxi was temporarily forced to close after the initial outbreak in Wuhan. Thankfully, by coordinating with local authorities and putting a range of safety measures in place, our Chinese operation has now been back up and running for some time.

Our top priority, of course has always been the health and wellbeing of our employees and partners. Beyond that, we’ve made every effort to ensure that our business stays fully operational, delivering the high-quality service that our customers have come to expect over many years.

Supporting our local healthcare system
Along with so many Italians, those of us at Lincotek Medical have been hugely grateful for the amazing response of our doctors, nurses and other health workers as the crisis took hold across the country and especially in northern Italy. It has been a frightening period with hospitals at near breaking point.

That’s why we have been so keen to help the region’s health workers in any practical way we can, including our delivery of 40 Tyvek® suits, which could be used by medical staff in the height of the emergency. We were also pleased to be able to support the territorial emergency service with personal protective equipment (PPE).

Safety first
At our facilities, we’ve ensured that every member of staff has their temperature taken at each change of shift – a practice extended to contractors when our entering our sites too.

Couriers and suppliers are no longer allowed to come into the factory premises. After identifying themselves to our switchboard, they drop off packages or supplies without leaving their vehicles. Our warehouse staff take responsibility for any loading or unloading and the signing of documentation – always keeping a safe distance of at least a meter, while wearing a protective mask and disposable gloves.

Keeping the premises as clean as possible is obviously a priority for us. Every operator and employee is responsible for sterilizing their workstation at the end of each shift with specific products. We also think it’s important to carry out regular sanitization of the wider offices, dining areas and changing areas, as well as the production rooms and workshop. That’s why we bring in a specialist contractor every couple of weeks.

Keeping our distance
So-called ‘social distancing’ has become the new normal for all of us in many aspects of our lives, and the situation is no different in the Lincotek work environment. One operator can’t be in close contact with another, so we’ve introduced rules to limit the numbers of people having lunch at the same times, have reorganized our shift patterns and also thought about the positioning of tables and chairs. Refreshment rooms, changing rooms, offices and meeting rooms all have a maximum limit on the number of people present at any one time. Thanks to smart working practices and technology, almost any employee who can work from home does so.  

Other safety measures
Safety masks and disposable gloves have become the norm and, of course, we ensure that hand disinfectant gels are available for staff. We also supply products to sanitize surfaces. Training is important to make sure that people keep the working environment as safe as possible, so we run courses to advise people on protective measures against the coronavirus.

Last, but not least, we have suspended all travel and business meetings, as we’re able to communicate on web platforms such as Lifesize. I

t’s been a difficult period, of course, but we’ve been delighted at the hard work and commitment of our staff and the understanding and co-operation of our customers. Together, we can ensure that business continues safely and productively for the remainder of this year and beyond.