As a service business, we are acutely aware of the potential impact of the continued spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus on supply chains, global shipping companies, and our own transportation and fulfillment operations in the US. While our teams have been working internally for several weeks to implement guidance from the CDC, we want to ensure that you, our customers, have a full understanding of our plans for PREPAREDNESS and RESPONSE to this outbreak.
We currently have no work interruption to regular transportation and warehouse services in our network as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. We have seen no increase in absenteeism or a decrease in fill rate with our temporary labor agencies. Container volumes across our network in March are down 15%-20% but a recent report from the National Retail Federation and Hackett associates states that the National Bureau of Statistics in China is reporting 78.9% of enterprises have returned to work as of February 25th.
Whiplash has taken the following actions to prepare our employees and workplaces:
Communicated information to all associates regarding the spread, symptoms and protective measures they can take, including staying home when sick, limiting contact with those who are sick, washing hands, avoiding touching eyes, nose and getting the flu shot
Posted information in all Whiplash facilities regarding general hygiene and workplace guidelines for prevention, detection and isolation
Instructed janitorial provider to use disinfectant wipes and cleaners and increased the frequency of cleaning
Installed hand sanitizing stations throughout Whiplash facilities
Coordinated with our local temporary staffing agencies to provide additional staffing in the event of an outbreak
Trained local safety managers trained to identify the specific signs of infection and understand the route of infection and risk of exposure
Held leadership meetings to align our practices with local information from state and local public health officials
Require immediate removal from workplace and self-isolation for any employees exhibiting symptoms
Instituted administrative controls (screening, visitor policies) to limit access to Whiplash facilities
Instituted additional cleaning and sanitizing in common use areas and equipment (restrooms, breakrooms, employee entrances, time clocks, light switches, computer workstations, RF scanners, material handling equipment)
Eliminated large group meetings, catered or group meals and celebrations
Cancelled all non-essential travel
Approved work-from-home when possible for administrative, customer service and non- operating positions
Whiplash is prepared to respond to an infection or outbreak in one of our facilities:
In the event that a Whiplash employee or agency employee exhibits symptoms while in the workplace, our local safety managers have been trained on the procedures for isolating the individual, communicating the situation, and conducting control activities in keeping with guidance with the CDC
In the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a Whiplash facility, we will follow CDC guidelines and have coordinated with local environmental cleaning firms to provide contracted cleaning, sanitation and remediation. The decision to close a Whiplash facility, and the duration of any closing, will be based on the advice of local public health authorities in coordination with our Operations, HR and Safety senior management.
Communication and Coordination
Whiplash’s COVID-19 response is being coordinated from our Headquarters location in City of Industry, CA by Janise Kring, EVP of Operations; Valerie Gart, SVP of Human Resources, and Desmond Olivarria, Director of Risk Management.
Communications like this one, with any change in CURRENT SITUATION or changes in our preparedness efforts that could impact your operations will be communicated through your local Whiplash contacts.
We will notify customers of any cases of COVID-19 and are developing contingency plans for alternate Whiplash location processing. We will make every attempt to move facilities, if feasible, based on guidance from local health authorities.
We appreciate your continued support as we work to navigate this difficult situation with our customers, suppliers, employees and partners.
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