In the days of social distancing it can be hard for a with products deemed “necessary” to keep product out, keep workers employed and keep them safe.
On April 22 Harrison Steel made a public statement about how the coronavirus has impacted its plant and its employees.
“Harrison Steel Throughout the current pandemic, Harrison Steel has been operating with the utmost respect of COVID-19. We have implemented extensive cleaning practices throughout our facility to protect our employees while at Harrison Steel. Unfortunately, we have had several employees test positive over the last few weeks.
“We are actively coordinating with the Fountain and Warren County Health Department to ensure the health and safety of every employee and our greater community. Upon reopening, all precautionary measures currently implemented in the facility will still be in place. We’re working with local officials and the rest of the health department and will continue to develop additional safety measures as needed.
“Concerns over the virus have impacted our production capabilities over the last few weeks. We believe, by getting ahead of this issue we will be able to return to work in full operational capacity to better serve the needs of our customers.”
Sean Sharma from the Fountain and Warren County Health Department said it has been working closely with the owners and operators at Harrison’s Steel over the past few weeks “to help ensure the safety of the employees and the citizens in the surrounding community of Attica.
“We have identified more than 10 cases of COVID-19 that have connections to employees at Harrison’s Steel. Not all of these cases are within the Fountain and Warren County area.
“It is the strong cooperative effort between our department and Harrison’s Steel which has helped us to identify these cases early and take action as needed.
“Harrison’s has suspended most operations as of end of shift on Wednesday April 22nd and are currently planning on resuming activity on May 4th 2020.
“They’re planning on paying their employees both full-time and part-time during the shutdown period.
“The facility will undergo a thorough cleaning and we will be working with Harrison’s Steel to ensure the safety of all workers and the community as operations resume in early May.
The Fountain & Warren County Health Department would like to remind anybody in the bi-county area with concerns for covid-19 to go to FWHealth.org for more information or to request testing for COVID-19.
“As the governor’s stay at home order is set to expire in early May now it is more critical than ever for us all to adhere to appropriate safety practices to decrease the spread of COVID-19. The health department currently supports the recommendations from the CDC for members of the general public to where homemade masks to help decrease the spread of disease. This action along with appropriate hand washing, social distancing, and staying home if you’re feeling sick can make all of the difference in the world.”
Now, the plan is to open May 4.
“We do hope we’ve taken every precaution available and have been in daily contact with the local health department, St. Vincent Williamsport’s Infectious Disease specialist, or our WeCare MD to ensure the safety and health of every employee, their families, and the community,” said Eric Carroll, director of human resources at Harrison Steel.
“Our employees are like family at Harrison Steel, and we’re committed to doing everything within our capability to maintain a safe and healthy work environment. Effective today, April 23rd, our facility is shutting down temporarily to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
“We instituted precautionary measures within our plant beginning on March 13, expanding these measures as necessary. Since that time, Harrison Steel has enforced social distancing requirements, provided on-site health screenings and access to at-home screenings, educated employees on best prevention practices, increased all cleaning and sanitizing procedures, purchased and encouraged the use of masks, provided a tour of our facility to health department officials to ensure compliance of all safety measures, continually disinfected all shared items, and encouraged employees to take their temperature before reporting to work.
“We’re now exercising the greatest measure of precaution available to us, which is a temporary closure.
“We’ll continue to compensate all our employees while the facility is closed, ensuring they’ll have the resources necessary to take care of themselves and their families during this time.
“We’re working closely with local health officials to ensure ongoing precautions are taken. We’re refraining from commenting about specific COVID-19 cases in an effort to protect the privacy of our employees.
“Our hearts continue to be with all who are fighting this virus on multiple fronts. We’re committed to standing with our community and doing everything possible to minimize its reach and impact.
“Provided it is safe to do so, we plan to reopen for business on May 4th.”