The COVID-19 pandemic is setting off economic woes in Korea and elsewhere around the world. With mounting economic problems, SK group is studying how to address those problems at group level and checking its business portfolio in anticipation of a potentially prolonged COVID-19 outbreak. At the same time, SK group is also agonizing over roles to be played by business organizations and stakeholders in connection with social issues and putting efforts into building a new safety net. The viral outbreak has changed our life and businesses in many different ways. Yet, SK People are proud and enthusiastic as ever. Let’s see how SK People are coping with post-COVID-19 changes in their worksites.
Producing transparent plastic for anti-COVID-19 personal sanitation gears
Fighting at the frontline of anti-COVID-19 battle are not only medical workers but also SK technologies. One of such technologies has been incorporated into SKYGREEN, a high-tech plastic resin commercialized for the second time in the world by SK chemicals. SKYGREEN is as transparent and chemical-resistant as ordinary glass and poses no health hazard with its BPA-free property. Thanks to these characteristics, SKYGREEN is the most ideal material for personal sanitation gears such as face shields and transparent anti-infection screens.
As demand for medical equipment and personal sanitation gear has skyrocketed in the United States and Europe in the face of COVID-19’s rampant spread, SK chemicals increased the supply of SKYGREEN two-fold compared with April last year, with export shipments increasing by over 40%. Global customers are anxiously waiting for SKYGREEN to arrive as early as possible to produce anti-viral sanitation products.
More rigorous safety measures usher in changes in worksites
SK chemicals’ Woolsan SKYGREEN plant is enforcing intensive monitoring measures to ensure a stable operation of production processes/facilities when greater throughput is required to meet an ever-increasing sales demand. Period inspection intervals have also been shortened from the past to ensure workers’ safety. Contingency scenarios have also been developed for safety issues to ensure a prompt response to accidents and thereby minimize production losses.
The COVID-19 outbreak has also changed work practices. To minimize damage from confirmed COVID-19 cases, an emergency operating arrangement is put in place and SK People in charge of production processes are working in control rooms and production sites separated from each other. Separate rest zones are also maintained for different workers’ groups and staggered access times are scheduled for areas that are difficult to be physically separated. SK People with plant management duties are also fully prepared for working from home if needed, and work in distributed stations on site. Most meetings are held online and meeting attendance is limited to absolute minimum if in-person conference is unavoidable. Above all, everyone is trying to ensure personal sanitation for everyone else’s safety in a bid to not only prevent the spread of COVID-19 but also put an end to the viral outbreak.
“We feel proud as SK People for SKYGREEN that goes into personal sanitation gear used by global medical workers battling against COVID-19 on the frontline. We will do our best to produce quality products by internalizing our current pride not as a liability but as a component of our technological excellence.”
_ Manager Park Ik-hyeon, Resins Production Team, SK chemicals
Bolstering up safety net for SK People in charge of customer service
Although the spread of COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in greater relevance of telecommuting arrangements, mission-critical factory operating staff and call center workers were effectively prevented from joining the trend. SK telecom, however, allowed over 6,000 call center workers to choose work from home in a bid to keep the viral outbreak from spreading among SK People, their family members and local communities. At the same time, SK telecom created an industry-leading reference case of ensuring workers’ safety and customer satisfaction by providing them with a home-based work system that would enable them to work in the same manner as they did in an office to prevent business disruption potentially anticipated from teleworking arrangement.