In order to ensure the safety of its associates, employees, partners, and customers, Amazon India has added close to 100 changes in its on-ground operations to maintain social distancing in its buildings and ensure safe deliveries for customers. Following guidance from World Health Organization (WHO) and local authorities, Amazon India has adjusted its practices within all its operations sites including Fulfilment Centers, Sortation Centers and Delivery stations through new formats of communications, process changes, new training methods and several policy changes.
From having face-covering available for all associates to wear at sites and while out on road making deliveries, to use of additional personal protective equipment as required depending on role and implementing temperature checks across operations in India, here are some of the key adjustments that Amazon India has taken to ensure social distancing and safe deliveries to customers.
Associate communication and training:
Amazon India has adjusted its practices so that teams can always maintain a safe distance from coworkers. This includes shift from on-ground meetings to virtual stand-ups, announcements using public address systems, cab occupancy policy changes and safety ambassadors at several entrances to maintain social distancing guidelines. To avoid associates gathering in one spot, several pieces of training have been switched to online sessions or app-based meetings. In-person coaching sessions have been restricted to only critical cases with reduced meeting room capacity, maintaining a 2m social distance.
Break time and common areas:
Amazon India has staggered the shift start times and break times for its associates as an added safety measure. The maximum occupancy in canteens and common areas has been reduced and the tables in the break rooms have been spread out to maintain safe distance between employees. A new token system in canteen, a 2 tray process at snack stations, water dispensers and vending machines at 2m distance have been introduced to adhere to social distancing guidelines in all common areas.
Process flow changes:
Several operational processes have been changed for the associates on ground. This includes changes in the way items are picked, packed and bagged to ensure a minimum of 2m distance following social distancing guidelines. Only one person is allowed to load/ unload products at a time and the arrival time of drivers and delivery associates have also been staggered to avoid crowding at the site. At the time of delivery, associates now do contactless deliveries and place the order at customer doorstep to avoid any physical contact.
Several policies have been altered for the network of associates, focusing on their health and safety. Temperature screening at all entry and exit stations and face-covering have been mandated at all sites to ensure safety. Many stations have installed kiosks for self-screening of temperature for associates. All sites have put in place virtual markings on the floor to illustrate 2m distance for better queue management. Associates are now allowed to carry mobile phones inside the facilities in order to stay in touch with their families. Associate transportation policies have been altered to maintain social distancing. The self-declaration process has been mandated for all contractors to screen any potential cases.
Cleaning and sanitization:
The frequency and intensity of cleaning, including regular sanitization of frequently touched areas has been increased at all sites. At the start and end of routes, delivery associates have been advised to clean all frequently touched surfaces of their vehicles and delivery devices for safer deliveries. Delivery associates have been asked to wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds while on sites, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or cleaning agent when they are on the road. Delivery jackets of all associates are also washed every day as an added safety measure.