Coats

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Pandemic Response

Thanks to our strong Health & Safety culture and the momentum established in 2019, we were able to pivot early and refocus our prevention efforts towards Covid as soon as it emerged as an issue in our China operations.

As a result we were able to develop and roll-out to all of our units a structured response two weeks before the pandemic was declared. This was based on the well known PPRR (Preparedness, Prevention, Response & Recovery) crisis management model. Our cautious and proactive approach to keeping our employees safe continued throughout the year.

Actions included:
Closing all standalone offices to allow us to focus on the safety of our manufacturing employees, restrictions on travel and visitors to our sites, encouraging employees to wear face masks and demonstrate their creativity through a Face Mask Fashion Show competition, identifying and implementing social distancing best practice in all of our sites, distributing health and safety kits to all employees with items to help keep them safe from the virus, regular awareness training and education sessions to help keep employees safe, using an internally developed mobile app to track and trace cases enabling us to support any employees who contracted the virus, identify any employees at risk of catching it and prevent it spreading, a global approach to re-opening manufacturing sites as lockdowns lifted including policies and guidelines about social distancing, hand santising, temperature screening, disinfecting, and re-setting factory layouts to include one way systems and to allow for social distancing, we were able to use artificial intelligence systems on existing health & safety monitoring cameras in our plants to monitor whether messaging on mask use and social distancing were being adhered to, introducing risk assessments for sales and customer visits as these restarted, creating a recovery matrix to carefully remove controls as the pandemic eases.

Very sadly, by the end of 2020, 14 of our employees had died from Covid infections contracted outside the workplace. The early action we took to change working practices, introduce safety measures and track contacts to 4 levels meant that we did not have a single confirmed case of infection transmission happening in our operations, and a small handful of infections where the source is unconfirmed and could have occurred on site.

Our health and safety efforts did not stop with our employees, we also extended them into the community for example by providing health and safety kits into our local communities and, in India, providing hand wash stations to primary schools and police stations, Covid testing booths and sanitary gloves to health care professionals.

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