Tata Steel implements ‘pods’ to fight COVID-19 in Jamshedpur

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Jamshedpur, July 8: As part of its comprehensive employee safety approach to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, Tata Steel has implemented the concept of Pod across its operating locations, which is multi-layer protection to break the transmission circuit. These measures are beyond the stipulated SOPs, which anyway are being strictly followed by the organisation.

One of the important aspects of the Pod concept is modulization of the workforce into pods. The idea is to divide the staff seating arrangement into small units, called Pod, thereby restricting the inter-pod movement.

“ This seating arrangement prevents infection among the majority of the workforce in the event of a COVID-19 positive case. The factory workforce has been divided into hundreds of pods across locations,” said an official.

The Pod is a set of workers, ideally within 10 nos, with a self-contained set of skills so that they do not have to depend on anyone outside their group for closing any assigned job. These people have very limited cross-pod movement and interaction. All of the members have to maintain mandatory social distancing. Additionally, to reduce the risk of contamination across shifts, a 30-minutes air gap is maintained between two shifts.

“Fifteen minutes before the shift ends, each work area and tools get sanitised. Even exit happens through the designated gates. The next shift enters 15 mins later through a separate gate, wherever possible, and once again cleans the work area and tools before usage. This way the contamination across shifts is mitigated,” said the official.

As the procedure itself delineates, this process limits the spread of the virus across pods. If one person is infected, the entire pod is quarantined, but the rest of the pods can continue to work. It ensures business operations as the requisite workforce is present to do the job. Besides in case of any COVID19 positive case, the pod system enables contact tracing.

He added that Tata Steel is following all necessary health and hygiene norms, in line with the government guidelines, at its offices and plant facilities to safeguard the health and safety of all employees and stakeholders. The Company has established robust Standard Operating Guidelines (SOGs) and work protocols which are being followed.

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