GA FSIS offers COVID safety guidelines for peanut workers
The recent spike in COVID-19 cases has caused more precautions to be re-implemented. The Georgia Federal-State Inspection Service (GA FSIS) is implementing the same measures and precautions as last year to provide a safe and sanitary workplace is crucial.
The Georgia Federal-State Inspection Services encourages peanut buying points to take extra measures to ensure employees are protected.
Georgia Federal-State Inspection Service will be taking these steps:
• Following current guidelines set in place by the CDC & DPH;
• Providing additional training to all inspectors including proper handwashing techniques;
• Encouraging social distancing by remaining 6 feet apart where possible and limiting interaction with buying point personnel;
• Requiring employees to wear masks where applicable;
• Sanitizing the grade rooms regularly;
• Performing daily checks using a questionnaire covering symptoms and exposure.
Commodity points are encouraged to take the following measures:
• Providing hand-washing stations in close proximity of the grade room
(Close proximity is being within the same building at a minimum; existing restrooms within close proximity are sufficient);
• Hand-washing areas should remain supplied with soap and paper towels;
• Restrooms should follow regular and frequent cleaning and sanitizing practices;
• Adding partitions to separate GAFSIS employees from buying point personnel where feasible;
• Request all buying point personnel to limit interaction with GAFSIS employees;
• Post warning signs as detailed in Georgia House Bill 112 (2021 Session), the Covid 19 Pandemic Business Safety Act.
The Georgia Federal State Inspection Service usually hires about 1,000 seasonal employees each year with half of those being inspectors. So far this year GFSIS has trained 448 inspectors, with two additional classes remaining that will bring the total to nearly 550 inspectors. GFSIS will hire approximately an equal amount of assistants in the coming weeks. This year there are 118 active buying points throughout the state.