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Health & Safety at MJF Exports

From our tea gardens to our factories and offices, we follow strict protocols in making sure your cup of tea remains Ceylon’s finest. We are taking control of the ‘new normal’, and have set stringent hygiene and safety protocols, followed by all MJF Exports personnel in our Tea Gardens, Offices and Factories:

Entering the premises

Entering the premises

When entering the gate, security officers in protective gear are in place to check body temperature as a precautionary measure to identify any person who is suffering from fever.

Everyone entering the premises are subsequently directed to wash their hands with soap and water before entering. Alternatively, hand-sanitising with alcohol-based hand rub is available throughout the premises and can be adopted when handwashing is not an immediate option. Employees are instructed to wash and sanitise their hands regularly, and whenever they feel their hands are dirty.

Handwashing and Hand Sanitising

In order make the handwashing process more convenient to all personnel, 4 additional handwashing stations have been installed at the Head Office, along with 27 handwashing and 35 hand sanitising points across our factories and tea gardens.

All personnel are instructed to face masks while on duty, and at all times when inside the premises and commuting to and from work.

Handwashing and Hand Sanitising

Social Distancing

Social Distancing

During instances like standing in queues to wash hands, eating lunch at the canteen, and collaborating with colleagues in person, a distance of 1m or more is maintained between each employee (i.e. at least 3 feet apart). Activities and greetings causing physical contact is avoided.

Meetings

Meetings

If a group meeting is to take place, staff is to consider alternating it with a teleconference or an online event. Incase of a face-to-face meeting, the number of attendees is minimised, and proper distancing guidelines are followed.

Hygiene and Safety Etiquette

Hygiene and Safety Etiquette

Employees are discouraged from using others’ mobile phones, pens and common telephones, whenever possible. If sharing equipment is needed, it is ensured that the surfaces prone to contamination is frequently sanitised.

Employees are encouraged to limit contact with the mouth, nose, eyes etc. at all times. Further, employees follow proper respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes by the inner side of elbow or sleeve.

Elevator usage is curtailed. If needed, depending on the capacity of the elevator, it is ensured that the required distance is maintained between the elevator users. It is advised to avoid talking or taking phone calls to prevent possible cross contamination. If contact is made with staircase railings, consequent self-sanitation is carried out.

Frequently contacted surfaces such as door handles, telephones, washbasin taps etc. are being periodically wiped down and sanitised. Windows and doors are kept open to ensure that the venue is properly ventilated, reducing the necessity of frequent touching of door handles.

Canteen / Lunch Rooms

Employees utilising the canteen have been advised to maintain a 1m distance while consuming food and are discouraged from using common utensils and glassware.

Food Safety

Food Safety

Food handlers are trained to ensure food safety practices are maintained to prevent contamination through food. Our Food Quality Management and Safety Certificates are publicly available for more information. Employees in the factory premises are clad in all PPE’s provided prior to commencing the days’ shift and handling perishables.

Back to work

Back to work

Employees are discouraged from attending work if his / her close contacts have shown symptoms of COVID-19, has any chronic illness, is pregnant or is breastfeeding.

Best Practices Guide designed by MJF Exports for the health and safety of estate workers and their families during COVID-19

Documentation, Education and Policy Changes

Starting with data collection, MJF Exports obtained a list of outsiders who returned to the estate with the lockdown and curfew being imposed in Sri Lanka on 20th March 2020. Thereafter, sharing said details with the Plantation Health Inspector (PHI) of the area. A Worker Welfare Officer was subsequently appointed to facilitate and assist the respective Estate Managers to introduce safety measures regarding the pandemic. The next step was educating workers and non-workers regarding the COVID– 19 pandemic and safety standards in place, while adopting a ‘No Visitors’ Policy.

Worker Welfare, Hygiene and Nutrition

Worker Welfare

MJF Exports has provided adequate food and essentials, including masks, hand sanitizing gel, and disinfectant to the estate workers and their families. Daily spraying of disinfectant and sanitization of all worker housing & factory surroundings is carried out. MJF Exports also prepares and offers hot coriander drinks to all field workers on rainy days for their health.

COVID-19 Operational Guide

Safety Gear, Monitoring, Hygiene

Safety Gear

Following the Ministry of Health Guidelines, daily hygiene practices are strictly followed, where Masks, Gloves, and Head Gear have been provided to factory employees to be used at all times. Workers are subjected to a mandatory temperature check at the tea factory entrance, along with washing of hands as per recommended standards via a foot-operated washing station installed at the entrance of the factory. Further, foot dips are being used to disinfect foot gear through ‘foot bath facilities’ at the entry points.

New Harvesting and Admin System for Physical Distancing

New Harvesting and Admin System for Physical Distancing

Handwashing stations with ‘alcoholic hand rub’ have been set up for use by estate workers prior to plucking. A new plucking system has been introduced to ensure safe personal distance is being adopted during plucking / harvesting by picking from every other row, ensuring a minimum personal distance of 8 ft. between each tea plucker. Same safe distance is maintained during weighing and handing over of harvested green leaf, entering and recording of attendance for the day, issuing of foodstuff to all residents, payment of monthly advances and wages, etc.

This harvesting system has been shared with others in the industry. As a result of MJF Export’s Best Practices Guide, the tea estate communities were protected, where no COVID-19 positive patients have been recorded from the tea estate communities to date.