Pasta producer shares ideas on making your workplace safe for staff

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Food production company Pasta Foods, which has sites in Norwich and Great Yarmouth, is Britain’s leading dried pasta manufacturer.

Operations Director David Matwij shares the processes which the firm put in place to allow operations to continue during lockdown.

He said: “We put together a list of activities which we implemented to not only keep our individual employees, safe, but to keep their families and partners safe as well.

“Behind those measures, we carry out weekly audits to cross check that all staff are adhering to our new policies and procedures and those are conducted by our Health, Safety and Environmental Officer.”

Some changes have been made to the physical space within the factories, including:

  • Signs were displayed in various entrance points across all three facilities
  • Additional hand sanitisation was installed in all entrances to the sites and factory processing areas
  • All staff were provided with ‘personal’ hand sanitisers to carry upon their person and these are refilled when required
  • Clear segregation barriers were installed within main office block entrances with clear instructions on our COVID-19 process
  • A strict two metre distancing rule was applied
  • Canteen tables and chairs were removed to allow two metre spacing within the area
  • Staff kitchen areas limited to one person use at a time

A number of changes to working practices were also made:

  • All applicable office staff and Directors commenced working from home and were provided with all of the necessary tools to be able to complete their task in full, from computers and printers to network connection availability
  • All employed personnel were provided with a letter indicating that they were a ‘key’ worker, inclusive of site and working hours
  • Document handling procedures with distribution partners were changed to prevent hand contact
  • Breaks were staggered to allow limited exposure to people in rest areas
  • Shift start/finish times were staggered to prevent staff congregating around clocking in/out machines to allow people flow
  • Regular updates were provided by Senior Management regarding our ‘Company position’ on COVID-19 and daily calls ensured new policies and processes were communicated to staff
  • Any member of staff within our Business who had possibly come into contact with somebody with COVID-19 symptoms were asked to self-isolate on full pay for seven days, followed by the increased isolation of fourteen days
  • Introduced the availability of temperature testing for staff as and when required.
  • All movements between manufacturing facilities required by Departmental Heads was ceased
  • All visitors were asked not to attend site unless it was Business Critical, and if deemed necessary, all corrective measures were enforced and followed Government legislation at all times
  • The company created a Government Log-in for COVID-19 test kits when these became available to speed up the process of testing





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