On April 1, the National Association of Manufacturers and the NAM’s Manufacturing Leadership Council hosted a phone call to discuss best practices for public health and industrial cleaning as part of the COVID-19 response. The call included remarks from Manufacturing Leadership Council Executive Director David R. Brousell; Eli Lilly and Company Chief Financial Officer Josh Smiley; and Ecolab Global Food and Beverage Division Research, Development and Engineering Food Safety and Quality Program Leader Dr. Tatiana Lorca.
Brousell discussed the importance of industrial cleaning to the overall effort against COVID-19, and led a question-and-answer session with participating manufacturers.
“We’re hopeful that the information from this call will help guide your own thinking on ways to protect and defend the people in your plants and factories and in your factory environments,” said Brousell.
Dr. Lorca emphasized there is currently no evidence COVID-19 is transmitted to humans through food or through packaging materials, but cautioned that the virus is new and still has some unknowns.
“The primary route of transmission is person to person, so the best way to protect ourselves, our employees, our families and our communities and customers is to follow standard infection control practices,” said Dr. Lorca. “The good news is that the virus is an enveloped virus, and we know that enveloped viruses are vulnerable to disinfection, which means we can use approved disinfectants to kill the coronavirus on surfaces.”
Dr. Lorca highlighted standard safety practices like properly washing hands and cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces, including utensils. She explained the difference between sanitizers and disinfectants, the latter of which tend to be more effective for destroying COVID-19 on surfaces. She also encouraged manufacturers to check the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s publicly available list of products that are known to kill the virus when selecting a disinfectant and to follow the instructions for use posted on the product’s label.
Smiley discussed Lilly’s efforts to protect the supply chain, including the supply of insulin; to keep employees safe and productive; and to address the pandemic by developing a therapeutic antibody with pharmaceutical company AbCellera Biologics, Inc. He also spoke about Lilly’s work to support their community by conducting testing in Indianapolis and their work to keep business moving.
“We’re trying to figure out—all of us—how to keep employees safe and healthy while we carry on our business,” said Smiley. “Lilly’s mission is to make life better for people around the world, and we’ve use that as our guiding principle…Lilly is bringing the full force of our scientific and medical expertise to attack the coronavirus pandemic.”
The NAM is continuing to provide coronavirus resources for manufacturers, connecting businesses with guidance from appropriate government officials and agencies and providing updates on the state of the manufacturing industry.