The world has changed. Food industry workers now face a work environment fraught with danger. With everyone they encounter, every surface they touch, every time they merely touch their face in the workplace, they risk contracting COVID-19 and passing it on to others. Employers have civic, regulatory, and humanitarian duty to make the workplace safe, but how? We are providing a solution in the form of Icicle’s COVID-19 Prevention and Control system.
The challenge is daunting. In the span of just a few short months, plant and occupational health and safety managers have been blindsided by a tsunami of medical and regulatory guidance placing the ultimate responsibility firmly upon their shoulders. At the same time, the process of rapidly deploying a comprehensive, effective COVID-19 prevention program is challenging in the extreme.
All levels of governments around the globe are providing guidance but the confusing assortment of disparate and often conflicting advice makes building a COVID-19 prevention and control program from scratch in the time available next to impossible. Fortunately, the Icicle team has leveraged the already existing technology in the Icicle food and cannabis ERP system to help you get on top of this massive task quickly and directly.
Leap Over the Obstacles with Icicle’s COVID-19 Prevention and Control System
What is really needed is a predefined set of guidance and control measures that can be dropped into facilities to provide the backbone of an effective COVID-19 prevention and control program, together with a full suite of operational functions that can be used to monitor and trend adoption and compliance.
The makers of Icicle, global leaders in food safety, have stepped up to the plate, bringing to the table a wealth of experience, knowledge, and technology dedicated to controlling biological hazards. Icicle now enables you to drop in a complete COVID-19 Prevention and Control system with predefined policies, procedures, operational templates, and other features that don’t just let you rapidly deploy a COVID-19 program, but also to run and monitor it.
We are offering our users COVID-19 assistance in utilizing all aspects of Icicle below, free of charge.
COVID-19 Prevention and Control Programs, Policies, SOPs, and SSOPs
In order to implement a COVID-19 prevention and control program, you need to address regulatory requirements. These can be entered directly into Icicle so that the new documentation you will need in order to satisfy these requirements can be linked directly to the program requirements. This will allow you to easily communicate the measures that you are taking to protect your workers.
- Be Safe with Icicle’s COVID-19 Prevention and Control System
- COVID-19 Resources for the Food Industry
- Free Example COVID-19 SOP for the Food Industry
New documentation must include policies, communication policies, organizational pandemic and business continuity plans, and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOPs). All of these documents must be defined and linked to the relevant program requirements for audit purposes and inspection templates to ensure you can demonstrate compliance.
The Icicle team can pre-populate your account with best practice examples of the full documentation set you’ll need, specifically crafted for pandemic response. The herculean effort normally required to create this documentation is then reduced to simply editing this documentation to reflect your specific facility.
Track Pandemic Employee Training
It’s not enough to have SOPs, they must also be followed, and that means training workers. With Icicle, you can schedule worker training, approve training, and keep track of which workers have been trained in what. Task reminders are automatically issued for upcoming training and tasks resulting from training can be tracked and verified. You can also flag employees for retraining if incidents arise.
Facilitate Remote Work to Reduce Risk
Any sort of outbreak at a food facility is a dreaded event, and the stakes are only higher right now. Icicle reduces the risk by facilitating remote work. Icicle is a cloud-based application, which means it can be accessed from any device with a working internet connection.
Many tasks that would normally require physical presence, such as documentation reviews, employee training, trend analysis, etc. can be undertaken remotely, reducing the overall risk of infection and exposure for COVID-19 prevention and control. Remote work can also be completed by third parties such as subcontractors, inspectors, and auditors, if you choose to grant access.
Screen Employees and Visitors
Not everyone can work from home, and along with training, you also need screening to ensure that individuals that pose a high-risk don’t enter your facility in the first place. Icicle already helps you keep track of visitors with our Visitor Access Control feature but now you can create a screening process for everyone who enters into your facility, including all employees, with questions specifically designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
This screening can be completed on a mobile device like a tablet. The system does a statistical analysis to assess risk and, if anyone fails a screening test, alerts and notifications are automatically sent to the responsible individuals.
Integrate COVID-19 Lab Tests
Lab tests were already a part of Icicle’s Laboratory Management module), but new circumstances require that you verify that sanitation procedures are effective. You must also retest in the case of an outbreak, and it is crucial that samples are managed properly. Icicle keeps track of each swab sent to a lab so all the lab results are accessible for the right people and corrective actions can be implemented immediately if necessary. You can also trends the results when you get them for an even higher level of COVID-19 prevention and control.
Verify Compliance with Mobile Inspections
So now you have new procedures, your employees have undergone training, you are screening everyone, and conducting regular testing. How will you ensure that these new requirements are consistently followed? With Icicle, you can use pre-defined inspection checklists to verify and monitor activities in your facility.
Immediate Corrective Actions for COVID-19
If an inspection turns up a problem, Icicle can take care of that too. When an inspection point fails, you can immediately assign corrective action tasks. You can also track these tasks to see what was completed by whom and when, as well as monitor outstanding tasks.
Manage Pandemic-Related Incidents
There is no time like a pandemic to plan for the worst-case scenarios; in fact, it is our responsibility to do so. Icicle provides predefined incident templates that can be launched when incidents occur (a worker reports feeling unwell, a worker is repeatedly warned to maintain physical distance, a positive COVID-19 test result, etc.). Users are then presented with predefined corrective actions to be assigned, enabling rapid, effective responses.
Gather Essential Data to Keep Your Facilities Working Safely
One of the benefits of using Icicle is that all your data is kept in one place, creating limitless opportunities for optimizing your operations. In the case of COVID-19, tracking employees has become as important in some cases as tracking ingredients and products. Icicle can help you identify which workers worked together on which production runs, enabling contact tracing.
Undertake Root Cause Analyses and Preventative Measures
Some incidents are one-off events, but others may indicate deeper problems – and the margin for error right now is slim. Icicle enables you to undertake a root cause analysis to identify and determine the success of corrective measures. If problems are identified, you can re-flag users for retraining or flag procedures for review.
Gain Confidence to Re-Open
Many food businesses have already experienced outbreaks at their facilities, with thousands of cases emerging in the meat industry alone. If your operations have been shut down by local health authorities and you have followed all the required steps to open again, Icicle can help you build confidence with regulatory authorities by demonstrating that you’ve put appropriate measures in place. You can even grant access to inspectors so that they can monitor your program during the re-opening process to clear you to resume operations as an essential business.
No-Charge Support from the Icicle Team
We understand that It is more important today, than ever, to support the Icicle community during this difficult time and to look toward the future and our team is here to support you. Get in touch with our support team now and stay safe during COVID-19 with Icicle.