BraunAbility voluntarily implements second production suspension to flatten COVID-19 curve
BraunAbility continues its voluntary response efforts to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus and will suspend its Winamac-based manufacturing operations through May 11. The proactive decision is due to both decreased product demand and the surge of positive cases reported in neighboring counties.
This is the second time BraunAbility has voluntarily suspended its operations. In support of a request of all local businesses from Pulaski County Health Department officials to help flatten the curve, BraunAbility halted manufacturing operations for a two-week period in early April.
The company has implemented a broad range of preventative initiatives over the last six weeks, including a deep cleaning and disinfecting of all facilities. Additional handwashing stations were installed throughout the factory, and staggered production schedules were implemented to limit the number of employees present at one time. BraunAbility procured personal protection equipment for all production workers, and all personnel are required to wear protective face masks. A stay-at-home protocol was established, and every employee is required to complete a symptom questionnaire and temperature check before entering the facility. Employees who can perform their jobs from home are required to do so, and all visitors and travel have been restricted.
As of May 1, three BraunAbility employees have tested positive for COVID-19, and each have voluntarily quarantined at home. The new stay-at-home practices helped identify two of the cases before the workers returned to the plant after the initial production suspension. Employees who may have come into contact with the third employee have been notified of their potential exposure but contact tracing efforts have determined that additional exposure was limited.
“The health and safety of our employees is our number one priority right now. I’m proud of the proactive and vigilant efforts we continue to take on their behalf, but even prouder that our employees are protecting each other by taking symptoms seriously and staying at home if needed,” said Tom Eastman, president of North American Manufacturing at BraunAbility.
As an essential business in the transportation industry and global leader in manufacturing wheelchair accessible vehicles and wheelchair lifts, BraunAbility will resume production on May 11 to meet the needs of its customers in the disability community. The company is the largest employer in Pulaski County and will continue to work with local officials to minimize the impact of COVID-19 in the community.