COVID-19: Health advice for factories and the need for processes adaptation

In these challenging times during the COVID-19 outbreak, ICS and its members would like to give a reminder to their sub-contracting factories, suppliers and all other concerned parties, that the World Health Organization (WHO)‘s advice on how to protect oneself and those around us should be followed.

The local government and health authorities might have shared specific instructions and recommandations on workplaces and production sites as well.

Certain simple steps should be taken to avoid spreading the virus, as recommended by health professionals:

  1. Wash your hands frequently
  2. Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and others
  3. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  4. Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
  5. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Further advice may be found on the websites the United Nations, the International Labour Organization or UNICEF.

Moreover, as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, health and safety precautions and lack of transport, some ICS authorized audit companies are being restricted from performing audits in high risk virus areas, such as China, Italy and France. ICS is currently exploring approaches to minimize disruption to audits and responsible sourcing activities, to continue promoting safe working conditions for workers. Advice has been given to audit companies and certain adjustments had to be made to the way audits are held.