According to the CDC, COVID-19 is primarily transmitted from person-to-person through respiratory droplets, which are released when someone with the virus sneezes, coughs or talks. Although wearing face masks helps stop the spread, employees who work at our Insulation Systems plant in Edison, New Jersey, realized they needed a creative solution when it came to eating lunch in their shared break room.
Earlier this month, Plant Engineer Derek Luk and his team worked through several potential ideas to help make the break room safer. Initially, they removed four of the tables to ensure 12 feet of distance between the remaining tables, but this restricted the room’s capacity.
They then got the idea to install a barrier made of PVC pipes and clear plastic curtains to enclose one of the tables on all four sides. After receiving positive feedback from employees, they installed additional enclosures around several more tables. This enabled them to add back the tables they had previously removed and helps more employees safely enjoy the break room while eating. All tables in the room are still placed 6 feet apart to allow for CDC-recommended physical distancing. The tables, along with the curtains, are also sanitized frequently.
Plant Manager Will Graham said New Jersey’s rules for indoor prompted the implementation of the barriers. In fact, the state did not allow indoor dining at all until recently.
“When you think about it, our cafeteria set-up is similar to indoor dining in restaurants,” Graham said. “That is what led us to take action. Derek and his team did an excellent job of coming up with solutions!”