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ADPH encourages employees to speak with employers who aren’t following social distancing measures

Many employees don’t think their employers are doing enough to keep them safe during the...
Many employees don’t think their employers are doing enough to keep them safe during the pandemic.(Source: Viewer)
Updated: Mar. 31, 2020 at 4:14 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - It’s photo after photo of over-crowded workplaces. Concerned workers asking for help, letting us know they don’t think their employer is doing enough to keep them safe during this pandemic.

Fearful they'll lose their jobs, no one wanted to go on camera to talk about their concerns.

So, we reached out to local companies like LG, Sanmina SCI, and PPG to see how they were following the public health guidelines. No one returned our calls.

But Mazda-Toyota Manufacturing wanted to assure their workers and business partners they are diligently taking actions to increase safety measures across the 2,400-acre construction site, including social distancing, increased cleaning, additional sanitizing stations and closing confined work areas. They re-emphasized no one has tested posted for the virus to date.

The Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has received hundreds of inquiries concerning COVID-19. A spokesperson said they are investigating each one seriously. Earlier this month, they released Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for the virus. But these guidelines aren't standards, or required by law, rather suggestions to help eliminate the spread. They include frequent hand washing, developing an infectious disease preparedness and response plan, and ensuring employees have appropriate PPEs.

Doctors with the Alabama Department of Public Health said essential businesses can stay open if social distancing is being followed.

If an employee does not believe social distancing is being followed, they are encouraged to speak to their employer. If the situation is not fixed, ADPH officials say you should contact your local law enforcement agency.

After our initial story aired, a spokeswoman for PPG sent us a statement on ways the company is working though COVID-19. The following statement was sent to WAFF from Associate Communications Manager Lynne Evosevich:

"The safety and wellbeing of our employees and their families is PPG’s most important core value. For those who continue working in physical locations, such as our Huntsville, Alabama aerospace transparencies facility, we have implemented many safety best practices and processes to protect our people and keep our facilities a safe place to work.

We continue to monitor the health of our global workforce and measures are being taken to protect PPG employees and customers, in accordance with global and regional government requirements. PPG’s aerospace operations in northern Alabama are required to continue to operate as part of the US Defense Industrial Base. Additionally, PPG falls within the “manufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries.” PPG’s aerospace operations also continue to comply with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) where our business falls under the category of “Critical Manufacturing.”

Given the above, the dedicated employees of PPG continue to do their part to support the country and Alabama in this time of crisis. Our Huntsville location where these activities occur will remain open, and we will continue to employ site-specific health and safety measures such as frequent and through cleaning and sanitizing, split-shifts, social-distancing and other tools, which have been used successfully at PPG locations around the world to keep our people safe.

PPG has also implemented a global flexible work policy, where possible; we’re providing ongoing communications to employees; encouraging continued awareness of general hygiene and social distancing precautions; restricting travel and adjusting operations as appropriate.

Additionally, thorough cleaning and disinfection of work areas is being completed across the PPG network. All facilities have increased cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces as a preventative measure."

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