2020 has been an interesting year, to say the least! Life as we know it changed in a matter of weeks and we all had to learn to adjust to this new way of life. As a warehouse, we had to change the way we worked to protect our staff and all of our amazing customers. Being a Fair Trade company, our number one priority is the health and safety of all workers, all the way back to our producers, which is why we put in a lot of work to make sure we were doing our utmost in precautions and procedures.
The government has recently allowed many to go back to work and restrictions have lightened up but we wanted to let you know that we are still doing our best to protect our staff and you at home! We thought it would be a good idea to write about all the new changes that came into play a few months ago when things began to change!
It was decided that it would be best if limited staff were in the warehouse at one time to prevent contact and obey the 2-metre distance at all times. Many of our staff are able to work from home so each one was set up to do so.
Weekly meetings are had to make sure that we are all up to date with what needs doing, relay any messages and to make sure that we are adhering to the rules. It is also a good way to check in with each other because we are such a close-knit team!
During this time it has been strange not seeing each other each day but by using fantastic tools such as Zoom and Slack we can all message and see each other while also staying safe!
Preventative Measure Put Into Practice
Quite a few changes were made in March when things became serious besides just a skeleton staff rota. Mark, our boss, wanted to make sure that everything he could do to protect the staff and customers was done! That meant installing new ways to stay hygienic, putting some new rules in place and providing whatever is needed to ensure everyone’s safety such as lovely handmade masks! Here a few of the things that have changed to prevent the spread of COVID.
1. The members of staff who are still working in the warehouse are tasked to wipe down all surfaces with anti-bacterial wipes first thing in the morning, including door handles, trolleys, computers, as well as each work station.
2. The office was moved around slightly so that one person was at each end of the room to allow distance at all times. No more than two people are allowed in the office at once.
3. When couriers come to collect, any parcels are to be left by the door so that they can take them into their vans without having to come into the warehouse. Allocated pens are left by the door purely for couriers to use if they do not have their own stationery.
4. New fittings have been installed around the warehouse including hand sanitiser dispensers, paper towel dispensers and waste bins. Before, we would use hand towels which puts our workers at risk so it was a priority to get these new installations in place.
5. Markings of tape were made around each work station to clearly show a 2-metre distance and make it easier for the staff to keep away from one another. There is also antibacterial gel placed on each workstation and desk to make sure that everyone is keeping clean as often as possible.
6. Each person in the warehouse has their own box with all their own tools such as stationery, tape, knives, gloves and stickers. All the items in the box must be disinfected at the end of the shift.
7. The staff are all asked to wash their hands for 2 minutes as soon as they enter the warehouse and to have staggered breaks so no one person is using the kitchen at one time. This helps ensure that everyone is continuing to keep their distance.
Why Is This Important?
Even with restrictions relaxing it is extremely important to adhere to the guidelines. We take our staff’s health very seriously and would never want anyone to be at risk. Some businesses may not feel the severity of the issue and may continue as normal but we want to make sure that everyone, including our customers, feels safe and do not feel any sort of stress in regards to how their items have been treated before being sent to them.
What About Our Producers?
We also want to make sure that during this time our producers are still looked after which is why we are making sure that all of our producers in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka are sent regular orders to ensure that they can keep their staff in work.
We are also sending more money to these producers to ensure they have the funds to pay staff, buy raw materials and also pay those staff members who have had to stop working as they were high risk or self-isolating.
We at Paper High promise to do our best in the effort to prevent the spread of COVID 19 whilst also giving fantastic service. We are more than happy to answer any questions you have whether that’s to do with our business, our ethics, our products or our operations during these trying times.
We hope by reading this blog that it gives a bit more clarity of the actions we have been taking to make sure that we can operate at a level that provides safety to everyone.
Find Out More
Since 2001 we have specialised in selling Fair Trade paper products and unusual eco-friendly gifts made in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal. All our products are handmade using locally sourced sustainable and recycled materials wherever possible.
Each item sold helps our artisans and producers continue their fantastic work. Please feel free to check out our Producer page on our site to find out a little more about the wonderful people we work with. If you were intrigued about who exactly made a specific item please feel free to scroll down to ‘Make a Difference’ on any product on the site to learn more about the artisans of that item. Every item purchased helps all our wonderful artisans in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Want to know more? Have a look at our Ethics and Story. If you have a burning question then you are more then welcome to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org where our team will respond as soon as possible. Or leave a comment below and let us know what you think!