Narendrapur, January 14, 2022: Tata Steel Meramandalihas put in place a series of measures in its plant located at Narendarpur in Dhenkanal district of Odisha, to combat and contain as much as possible, the threat of the third wave of the pandemic that has put people across the globe on alert. Similar to the preparation done for the earlier two waves, the company is geared up to address the challenge this time around, by providing facilities in health care, safety, access control, transport and administration fronts to contain the spread of the virus. 99% of its employees are already double vaccinated through the various drives undertaken by the company.
The unique POD concept, dividing employees into self-contained smaller groups which operate independently, developed by the unit during the early phase of COVID, has been put in action. It makes it easier to keep track of positive cases, isolate them and treat them without infecting others. To stop crowding at canteens, food parcels are provided to replace in-house dining facilities.
Effective communication on COVID awareness has been deployed through hoardings, posters, LED boards, SMSs, short videos, mass mails, etc. to alert the employees on various precautions they need to take to combat it. Besides public address systems are also being used to disseminate the message inside the plant and insides the colony. To reduce the footfall inside the plant, work from home system has resumed. Staggered entry and exit of employee vehicles at the main gate have also been planned so that crowding at the gates during shift change is controlled. Regular sanitisation of vehicles and other touchpoints is being done at definite intervals. The face recognition-based gate entry system also checks mask and body temperature of employees entering the plant.
On testing positive, the employee is kept in isolation and further treatment is arranged at the 350-bed facility inside the plant premise. Employees residing in the housing colony, are also being monitored, tested, prescribed medicine and treated during home isolation and quarantine. Deployment of dedicated COVID paramedics, housekeeping staff, and doctors along with a dedicated ambulance has also been initiated. Two 24×7 COVID-19 helplines by the hospital team and the administration team have been set up.
The security team and quick action teams have been deployed in testing and vaccination centers. Measures to facilitate quick and safe entry/exit and social distancing have also been rolled out for truck drivers and their staff coming into the plant. The Safety team has formed a COVID-19 task force that visits different areas of the plant to ensure compliance with COVID appropriate behavior. Senior leadership is also conducting daily review meetings to monitor the development and to take necessary corrective action.
In addition to ensuring maximum protection possible to its employees and their family members, Tata Steel Meramandali is also contributing to keeping the community safe. The CSR team has created awareness in the community in and around the plant location to encourage COVID appropriate behavior and vaccination. This has resulted with maximum vaccination in the area. A 50 bed COVID care hospital is being developed at a nearby skill development center for the community to combat the rise in positive cases.