Vyaire Medical knows there’s more to increasing production to meet the increasing worldwide demand for ventilators than procuring resources and protecting the supply chain. A top priority has been – and remains – the health and safety of all employees worldwide.
“We have always believed that the people who make up the global Vyaire Medical family are our most valuable and cherished assets,” said CEO Gaurav Agarwal. “Their well-being is very important to us and we’ve taken quick action to ensure they are protected.”
Vyaire Medical has been working with its network of suppliers, contractors and partners in effort to obtain personal protective equipment (PPE) for employees at its many facilities around the world. In addition, individual locations have implemented additional measures.
During Chinese New Year, Vyaire Medical took advantage of the traditional downtime to disinfect the entire manufacturing plant in Shenzhen, China. Each of the 124 employees must wash their hands and have their temperature checked before entering the facility. All employees wear protective masks during their shifts.
In addition, employees are asked to complete a questionnaire designed to help monitor the overall health of everyone at the facility. Questions include things like whether someone has had contact with anyone from outside China in the past two weeks or whether they have been to a crowded place like a supermarket or restaurant in the past two days.
“We have daily updates on recent news and coronavirus protection,” said Rachel Chen, site leader at the Shenzhen plant. “We need them to know how to protect themselves and their families.”
Similar safety precautions have been implemented at Vyaire Medical’s manufacturing plant in Palm Springs, Calif. All employees wear masks and gloves are available, if desired. A nurse is present 24/7 for employee consultations and to take everyone’s temperature before entering the building.
Vyaire Medical also has hired additional cleaning crew staff to wipe down doorknobs, railings and common space areas throughout the day. The entire 140,00-square-foot building has undergone two extensive deep cleanings and the facility has been directionally reorganized so that hallways and stairways are one way.
“Stairs are no longer up and down. They’re either up or down,” said Stephanie Cass, director of operations in Palm Springs. “People are really getting in their steps trying to get around.”
The Palm Springs plant, which has seen production levels increase 100% between February and April, has already hired 40 new employees, bringing the total number of people at the facility to 270. Cass said she expects another 80 hires to meet growing demands.
With the number of people growing, Cass said shift schedules have been reorganized to minimize overlap while maintaining 24/7 production. In addition, meetings have been moved out of conference rooms into large, open spaces and employee breaks and lunch times have been staggered to allow for social distancing in the cafeteria.
“Morale has been pretty good. Everyone has been adjusting to things as best they can,” Cass said. “The team understands why we have to take all the safety measures we’re taking and they’re happy to go along with them.”
For more information about Vyaire’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, visit the company’s COVID-19 Response Center at https://www.vyaire.com/Covid-19.
Please note that all products, services, or features of products and services may not be available in your local area. Please check with your local Vyaire representative.