Maintaining productivity through Covid-19: a case study

Celebrating 40 years in business

Taylor Made Joinery Interiors Limited (TMJ Interiors) was established in 1981 and by the mid-point of the decade they were manufacturing joinery for domestic and commercial use. Their clients ranging from the Government and Royal Households to the London Olympics. This year, 2021, they celebrate their 40th year.

The logistical challenges of the pandemic

When the pandemic arrived in the UK in early 2020, it was TMJ interiors’ specific ways of working that presented a challenge. With a team 70 office staff, 80 manufacturing staff in the joinery workshop and 20 project management staff working on construction sites, adapting logistics was a priority.

Remaining operational and staying safe

To keep productivity high while prioritising safety, the business rapidly implemented a Staff Movement policy along with an internal track and trace system and guidance around face coverings. This enabled the workshop and majority of construction sites to remain open and able to operate safely throughout the lockdown periods. The office team were encouraged to work remotely where possible while the office space was remodelled to allow for social distancing.

Lateral Flow Device testing is in use at TMJ

As part of the system, staff are required to log the exact workstation they use each day. All office layouts have been adjusted to ensure 2m social distancing can be maintained and a one-way system allows safe movement. Screens are used as an additional precaution at desks and in reception areas and of course there are sanitising stations throughout the premises.

The business has gone even further by installing temperature screening cameras at entrances to the building. They have invested in deep-clean misting systems which are deployed each week to disinfect large areas. And the business is now rolling out weekly Lateral Flow Device rapid Covid tests to all employees who cannot work from home.

Prioritising health and safety

Tom Elsom - Health and Safety Manager at TMJ

Tom Elsom, Health and Safety Manager at TMJ interiors and an Associate Member of IOSH said: “The pandemic has pushed health and safety into a higher position on our overall agenda and it is now involved in all the decisions we make as a business.

“Many of our processes had been in place for a number of years. However, this situation has allowed us to become more dynamic and flexible, with a focus on continuous improvement.”

“The safety team have found the IOSH Returning Safely E-Learning courses very useful when implementing their Covid action plans. Advice has also come from other IOSH Members via the IOSH forum.”

Driving success and looking forward

Teresa Gorham, Senior Health and Safety Manager at TMJ

Teresa Gorham, Graduate Member of IOSH and the Senior Health and Safety Manager at TMJ, said: “From the board of directors to our joiners in the workshop, we’ve learnt from our experience over the years. We know that communication and consultation are the key to making everyone feel safe and ensuring measures are effective, practical and sustainable for the foreseeable future.”

The business has adapted successfully and remained operational throughout the pandemic. The safety team intend to use the situation as an opportunity to improve the health and safety systems in place and to increase the health and safety competency of the entire workforce. They have exciting plans to fully digitalise their safety systems with new online software and are rolling out a program of IOSH training for their managers and directors.