Pelwatte redefines its health and safety measures in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic
Pelwatte Dairy, the renowned local dairy producer, has taken precautionary measures to emphasize their commitment and resort towards ensuring safety and security of its staff and other stakeholders in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
As such, several exemplary measures have been established ever since the first wave of the pandemic in Sri Lanka since March 2020 by the company to keep in line with the Government’s health guidelines and ensured the safety of the consumers, staff and all stakeholders.
The COVID outbreak that has been identified as a global pandemic has affected businesses and lives locally and globally. Many organisations across industries had to re-engineer their production and management protocols and processes. Under such context, Pelwatte has been able to put up several approaches with multi-faceted factors that are yet to be followed in the industry.
The staff of Pelwatte have been offered with regular awareness and training sessions to keep up with the latest regulatory measures by the government as well as predefined measures by the health frontlines.
The company also took measures to facilitate regular visits of the PHI and MOH to monitor the company and all of its processes. Pelwatte has also made all arrangements for the necessary sanitary products and disposable PPE kits to be readily available for its staff. As a part of the management’s commitment to ensure the staff firmly adhere to complying to Covid-19 safety protocols, creative posters have been put up in and around the factory and its premises.
In a state of the pandemic crisis, Pelwatte understands that as an employer of the employee need that their job safety is ensured. This has been quite evident with the fact that Pelwatte has not ever put the employee’s salary or work at stake even during the most turbulent of times. The company has been running its production even when most other businesses were shut down. This was in support of the government’s request to run businesses producing essentials and to empower its worker fraternity amidst the ongoing situation. Pelwatte was able to facilitate the families of over 10,000 farmers who trust this production as their source of income through their continued production process.
Harshan Jeewakumara, Manger – HR of Pelwatte Dairy, sharing his insights on Pelwatte’s commitment towards its large staff network stated, “We had to allow only 50% of our staff to work at the times of risk and we took measure to pay salaries of all employees while rewarding employees who came to work with effective bonuses. We have also taken measures to revise and update the dynamic and static safety and health regulations of the company in a very short time in compliance with the country’s and world’s health guidelines. We have strengthened the process from an employee’s entry to the exit – minimizing contamination and contact while also making sure our staff get to their families safe. We have to also note that the company has been able to steadily approach the measures as it has been in the forefront of following these compliances in relation to the Food Safety regulations. All staff and visitors have been documented as requested by the authorities making sure that any necessary tracking and tracing activities can be done effectively in case of an outbreak. Pelwatte has also registered its outlets with ‘Stay Safe Sri Lanka’ Tracing system making its functions even more effective.
Pelwatte has also been sending e-flyers through internal communication to its staff and their families regularly. Onsite the production facilities, Pelwatte has also taken steps to ensure that safety is reassured through the Water baths, disinfectant mats, hand sanitizers, regular temperature checkups and also through the availability of a steamer that hopes to disinfect bacteria, germs and viruses productively.
“ Up until now, all PCR tests we have conducted have been negative – yet we have established required processes to ensure efficient mechanism to transport in case of a patient testing positive and to enable effective patient tracking. The loading trucks and vehicles are regularly sanitized while the basins and pots used for collection are cleaned, distilled and sanitized accordingly. The drivers have to go through a mandatory wash before entering the premises.”
Pelwatte Dairy has also been promoting their staff to come to work in their own vehicles, taking into consideration that nearly 95% of plant employees came to work in their own vehicles as they live in close proximity – it further minimizes their contact points and forms of contamination as opposed to the use of public transport or transport via company vehicles.