While businesses continue to face upheaval amidst the backdrop of COVID-19, GRI has reported that it is poised to meet the challenges of its new working environment and continuing to make safety its utmost priority.
“Safety has always come first in our factory environment. We follow lean principles and occupational safety and health standards are inherently embedded into our working procedures and value systems, therefore we were able to easily and quickly implement the COVID-19 requirements,” said Shanaka Gunaratne, senior general manager of GRI.
“From the time a person enters the factory until they are off for the day, we work to ensure that proper health and safety measures are followed. We remain committed to make sure that health and safety are a priority above all else during these exigent times,” he stated.
GRI says it was swift to develop and roll out special COVID-19 operational procedures well ahead of time. As the Sri Lankan government permitted companies with high business potential to continue manufacturing under lockdown, GRI’s key priority was to design and maintain a working environment to keep its employees safe.
Steps were taken to provide staff transport to and from the factory to minimize potential exposure. The production plants were and continue to be sanitized regularly. GRI management was proactive in conducting regular mock drills to prepare for any situations in addition to other awareness programs, temperature checks and hygiene procedures. Operation and ancillary areas in and around the factories also were re-aligned and adjusted to incorporate social distancing measures and safety. With the assistance of cross-functional teams, digitalization and work from home measures were implemented wherever possible.
“Our standard operating procedures cover a range of risk factors associated with specialty tire production. They are implemented according to international standards and we also work with local authorities to conduct regular audits,” stated Ananda Caldera, executive director of GRI, speaking about GRI’s existing safety measures prior to COVID-19. Regular up-skilling is carried out to facilitate career growth of employees and to implement new safety measures. All GRI factories also have in-house medical and treatment facilities.
GRI’s advanced production plants in Sri Lanka manufacture high-performance agriculture, construction and material handling tires, which are sold in more than 50 countries around the world. With Sri Lanka easing lockdown measures, the company is currently operating at full production.