What have you done so far in preparation for a potential coronavirus event at one of your communities?
The health, safety, security, and comfort of our employees is our top priority. Knauf is carefully following the rapidly changing Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation and has been acting upon recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local Health Departments and Regulatory Agencies.
We have taken the following actions based on their guidance:
- We are encouraging all KINA employees to practice social distancing—keeping at least six feet between individuals.
- We have enabled as many employees as possible to work at home so that we limit the critical number of people in all facilities.
- Increasing the frequency of cleaning and general hygiene maintenance—especially in high traffic and high-touch areas.
- Suspended all facility and plant tours and limited plant access to only those who have a clear reason to be on the site.
- All international business travel is currently prohibited and domestic travel is highly discouraged, unless it is truly mission critical, and must be approved by your department head (VP or SVP).
- No participation in in-person events or meetings with more than 10 participants. We are requesting that everyone strongly consider postponing all in-person communication and plan to conduct Webex or Skype meetings.
- Delivery drivers are asked to remain in their vehicles during pickups and deliveries. If that is not feasible we ask that they follow the CDC guidelines for social distancing (keeping a minimum of 6’ distance from other individuals).
- Schedule alterations have been made at the plants to limit the number of employees who are in the breakrooms at one time. Limited seating arrangements are also being put into practice, as well as additional breakrooms opened to maintain social distancing requirements.
Why is Knauf Insulation considered an essential business?
In “stay at home” and “shelter in place” state orders announced so far, Knauf is considered an essential business. Essential businesses are those that need to remain operational because they conduct critical functions. Our work at Knauf supports critical infrastructure and construction services, which are expected to remain critical as our nation deals with this crisis. The building of temporary hospitals, shelters and infrastructure could increase in vital importance as we battle COVID-19.
Is Knauf Insulation limiting the number of employees in the break rooms during the COVID-19 event?
Yes, schedule alterations are being made to limit the number of employees who are in the breakrooms at one time. Additionally, limited seating arrangements are being put into practice, and additional breakrooms have been opened in some instances to maintain social distancing requirements.
What is the plan if a Knauf employee contracts COVID-19?
If we confirm an employee with a COVID-19 case, we will follow all CDC recommendations, including cleaning/disinfecting the areas where the employee was working and notifying all employees who would have had had contact with the employee so an assessment can be made if the contact falls in the “close contact” definition from the CDC.
If an employee or contractor makes us aware of a positive, personal test for COVID-19, the employee should remain away from work until they are cleared by their Primary Care Provider, and their coworkers who may have been exposed should follow the recommendations below based on their level of contact:
- Not demonstrating/experiencing any symptoms = actively self-assess
- Demonstrating/experiencing symptoms = self isolate for 14 days, contact PCP
- Not demonstrating/experiencing any symptoms = actively self-assess, contact PCP for guidance
- Demonstrating/experiencing symptoms = self isolate for 14 days, contact PCP
The work area (specific workstation and common areas) shall be cleaned/disinfected following CDC guidance for disinfection. Operations in the area should cease while the cleaning is being conducted.
Is Knauf Insulation taking employees’ temperatures before they enter the facilities to mitigate spread?
At this time, Knauf is not requiring temperatures to be taken. However we have ordered equipment for each plant that will enable us to quickly, biometrically temperature scan everyone as they enter the plant. That equipment should be in place in the coming weeks. In addition, we are asking all individuals who enter our facilities to self-assess for the three primary symptoms of fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
Is Knauf Insulation making considerations for employees that are considered “high risk” for COVID-19?
Employees are urged to contact their primary care physician if there is concern of high risk. They should also discuss with their local HR representatives. We will work with our employees to ensure their health and safety as well as the health and safety of their peers, families and communities. If federal, state or local mandates are introduced we will implement as required.
Are Knauf Insulation employees who are unable to work due to COVID-19 illness or restrictions getting paid?
Knauf’s current pay policies and practices have not changed. Current policies established to help support our employees for confirmed FMLA cases still exist and we will follow those policies. This includes those taking care of an immediate family member. Employees also have the option to use various forms of paid time off. Your local HR representative will help assist with assessing your options.
Will there be exemptions for plant operations if a shelter-in-place is mandated for COVID-19?
Where shelter in place mandates have been issued so far, construction has been identified as an “essential business” that is part of the “critical infrastructure.” We are currently continuing operations at our plants and following all the guidelines for sanitization and social distancing as outline by the CDC.
Is Knauf Insulation planning to keep all plants open during the COVID-19 pandemic?
How is Knauf Insulation ensuring customers get what they need during the COVID-19 event?
We are committed to our customers’ business and success. That said, we are putting measures in place to ensure the safety of our employees while continuing to manufacture our products and deliver for our customers. We are working closely with our vendors to ensure our products continue to get shipped and delivered in a timely manner from our facilities and external warehouses. Currently we have no reduction in operating and servicing capabilities. However, current conditions require us to be flexible as our transportations partners and other vendors determine their own policies and procedures for dealing with COVID-19. Knauf is committed to keeping customers up to date on changes in both product availability and delivery as this situation evolves.
Will Knauf Insulation keep plants open if there is a COVID-19 outbreak at a plant or in the local community?
Unless required by a Federal, State or Local mandate, we will work to keep our plants open. We are putting measures in place to ensure the safety of our employees and the community while continuing to manufacture our products and deliver for our customers. Any outbreak situation will be reviewed and monitored closely and necessary actions will be taken, with the safety of our employees a top priority.
Is Knauf Insulation concerned with the possibility of losing manufacturing production?
The health of our employees comes first and we will adjust output and operations as necessary. To date, as we have been classified as an essential business, we have been encouraged by state and local “shelter in place” orders to remain open.
What COVID-19 precautions are being taken with extra sanitation at facilities?
We’ve increased the frequency of cleaning. We are following the stringent recommendations of the CDC, and following manufacturing guidelines ensuring commonly used surfaces are disinfected on a very regular basis. We have done risk assessments across facilities to identify key interaction points, and in turn have increased the frequency of facility cleanings in those areas and throughout. We have also created more space between employee work areas across our organization. Communications on the importance of hand washing and proper techniques have been posted and stressed to all employees.
How is Knauf Insulation ensuring all facilities and employees are meeting CDC and WHO COVID-19 guidelines nationwide?
We have established an internal task force, led by our Health and Safety department, to plan for the impacts of COVID-19. The team meets every morning to review overnight developments to ensure the measures we’ve put in place continue to follow the latest recommendations from both the Centers of Disease Control and the World Health Organization. Our leadership team is aligned and following all guidelines to set the right example of their teams. In addition to frequent email and video communications, we’ve set up a dedicated webpage with up to date information for our employees, our communities, and our customers
. We are committed to keeping our team informed with the latest information and impact to our operations.