THE GLOBAL DIRECTOR OF HEALTH, SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL, WHOSE CHIEF ROLE IN THE COVID- 19 CRISIS WAS BEING PART OF A MAGNA ADVISORY TEAM THAT CREATED A RESPONSE PLAN, SAID THE PANDEMIC “IS STILL FRONT AND FOREMOST, AT LEAST FOR THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE.
What is the biggest lesson learned in this crisis?
Coordination and communication. Although we had some of that at the onset of the outbreak, we really gained traction with the implementation of our Smart Start playbook, which spelled out the guidelines and gave us a 360-degree approach. Now we have to be aware that there is still significant community spread and we have to continue to manage and be prepared for what could be next.
What is the biggest challenge today?
Trying to ensure that people still understand just how important it is to be vigilant and maintain all of the proper precautions. We’re more than eight months into this, and people are getting tired. They want COVID to go away which is likely not in the immediate future. So we all need to be just as diligent going into the fall and winter months. We all need to get used to wearing a mask, not just in the workplace but outside of work, too. Staying in your ‘social bubble’ at home is equally important too.
How did Magna’s culture help throughout the crisis?
The entrepreneurial way we do business definitely helped with the response. Because we are problem solvers by nature, we were able to respond and execute quickly. Employees in our plants were absolutely willing to implement the requirements to put the health and safety of employees first. Our divisions took the information, put it into play efficiently, and had good results.
Will this change the way Magna operates in the future?
Many of the safety measures and precautions put in place as a result of COVID-19 have become a part of our normal routines at Magna. I think it’s going to be like that at least for the immediate future. Although we have resumed our manufacturing operations, the threat of COVID still exists so we can’t let our guard down.
What keeps you up at night?
Potential continued spread of the virus especially when we also have a threat of the flu in the coming months. We know there are “hot spots” in various parts of the world where we do business. It’s important that we stay focused on the key protocols of the Smart Start playbook at work and at home. The best way to fight against the spread is keeping it as far away as we can from our plants, homes and communities.
STEVE ROPER, global director of Health, Safety and Environmental