Starting Operations post-lockdown - A printers’ guide

As several presses across the country begin operations, Faheem Agboatwala, director of the Mumbai-based Hi-Tech Printing Services shares some simple but essential starting tips. The BMPA and Print Summit stalwart believes this will facilitate a smooth restart

03 Jun 2020 | By Sriraam Selvam

Faheem Agboatwala, director of Hi-Tech Printing Services

  1. Have a meeting with the team – motivation is key – explain to them that the world is not coming to an end and that we are all in this together. Social word to be banished from the factory – replace with physical distancing. We are not to stigmatise those who are and will be affected (and most of us will be) by this illness. The vast majority of us will get back to our normal selves. Regular motivation required – probably every week to begin with
  2. Educate and create awareness about the illness and how its spread – remove the myths associated with it and tell the workforce not to believe in the WhatsApp university.
  3. Face masks will help not only the wearer but also the team members – cloth ones are good (company should provide one set) and should be washed with simple soap and water daily. Discard after 15-20 days and use a freshly washed and dried one.
  4. Since wearing of masks is a bit uncomfortable – moving outdoors alone- remove the mask and take deep breaths – one minute every couple of hours should be encouraged.
  5. Washing hands with soap for 20 seconds – how often is the question? As often as you want to touch your face with your hands – simple. Don’t touch your face unless you have washed your hands for 20 secs with soap and water
  6. Use Sodium Hypochrolite (a version of chlorine) mixed with water to sanitise and clean working areas. Ranging from 10% for mopping to 2% for cleaning frequently touched surfaces including machine panels and handles. Test surfaces if you’re worried the chemical will affect the surface adversely. 
  7. Don’t overcrowd – try and work with lesser people on each workstation and machine. This is the best time to incentivise people by telling them that if they remove the same production with lesser people they can derive monetary benefits etc.
  8. Don’t allow unnecessary visitors to your premises.
  9. Follow Covid specific checks as per SOP provided.
  10. Make a task force who will take steps in case of emergencies – for large organisations they have a doctor on call but for medium and small companies like ours we should have a documented SOP as to what to do in an emergency and clear responsibility matrix.
  11. Vitamin C 500mg x 30 days is a good immunity booster – we are giving it to all our employees

SOP for Covid specific checks that can be followed

For O2 using pulse oximeters (Once a day – random)

  • Preferably use the middle finger of the dominant hand
  • 95-100% is perfect 
  • 93-95% (report but continue)
  • ​Below 92% - needs a medical check-up


For Pulse using pulse oximeters (Once a day – random)

  • Preferably use the middle finger of the dominant hand
  • Between 60 and 95 
  • ​No action required – only recording – data will be used by a medical professional as and when required.


For temperature using a thermal laser gun thermometer (On entry and exit)

  • Wipe the sweat from forehead before testing – can give wrong results.
  • Normal is 98.6 Fahrenheit (37 Centigrade)
  • Acceptable range is 94F (34.5C) to 99F (37.2C)
  • Above 99F(37.2C) please recheck after a person has rested for 10 minutes
  • If the second reading is also above 99F(37.2C) then please report to manager/supervisor
  • 100F(37.8C) – rest at home – paracetamol 500mg twice a day – 3 days- recheck everyday
  • ​Above 101F (38.3C) – needs a medical check-up