Crusader Paper Company has successfully kept COVID-19 out of our facility for over a year. Alarmed by the outbreak in Boston in February 2020, we undertook a process of analyzing the safety of employees within the facility, security of our supply lines, and travel policies for employees working outside of the facility. Meetings were held to discuss procedures to deal with the threat of COVID-19.
An initial set of procedures was put in place in early March of 2020. Soon after, outside visitors were prohibited from entering the building, including truck drivers carrying incoming and outgoing freight. Portable bathrooms were placed outside of the loading docks for their use.
Governor Baker issued an initial lockdown order a couple of weeks later. Crusader was permitted to continue to operate as an “essential business” by virtue of our dozens of customers in the medical, pharmaceutical and food industries. We expanded procedures to address the burgeoning pandemic. Crusader provided VPN line access for office employees to work on their office computers from their homes. This gave employees instantaneous access to the company ERP system and all files on the company server. Telephones linked to the company phone system were provided to office employees so that calls could be made in the usual way via the company telephone system. Staggered visits to the company offices were limited to a few employees on an exception basis. The performance of sales/marketing, accounting, purchasing, and general administration was not compromised by the work-from-home transition.
Further procedures were enacted in early April in support of our production employees who must necessarily come to the facility. Our manufacturing floor has vast amounts of space, permitting social distancing of a minimum of 6’ between employees (and more like 50’ on average). Lunch breaks were staggered to permit more space between employees in the break room. Employees were required to wear masks provided by the company. Extra benefits were extended to production employees to help them take steps to protect themselves and their homes from COVID-19.
Procedures continued to evolve as the pandemic unfolded. The HVAC system was modified to triple the intake of outside fresh. Air purifiers were deployed in the office areas. In the Fall of 2020 office personnel were permitted to return to the facility on a staggered basis. All the while Crusader’s production team never missed a beat. A year after our first COVID-safety procedures were put in place, there have been no known cases of COVID-19 for any Crusader employee or anyone entering our facility. It is too early to declare victory over COVID-19. So we continue to be watchful for the safety of our employees and their family members.
Supply of high-quality paper products, on time, remains our mission. We thank our employees, customers and suppliers for their continuing support during these difficult times. You can continue to count on Crusader!