COVID-19 - In Focus

Measures and procedures for Aluminium Smelters to prevent and control epidemic situation with Coronavirus COVID-19

Last update: 23 March 2020

The following document is intended as a draft to exchange ideas and concepts that have been used by other Aluminium smelters that were affected earlier by the current Coronavirus outbreak. They are measures to both protect your staff’s health and with the aim to limit impact on production. We seek feedback based on your experiences so we can continuously improve those suggestions.

Most essential points

  • Top Management to recognize the severity of the situation and explain to every employee countermeasures that are to be considered highest priority in Smelter Operation.
  • Appoint a “key person” that is responsible for managing this crisis
    o This key person must have far-reaching power of authority to make decisions and have instant access to top management (or be a member of top management)
    o Assign a deputy to the key person
  • Immediately instruct all personnel about the following:
    o Basic hygiene measures (see below details)
    o Social distancing (2 meters at all times!)
    o Employees must stay at home when they have symptoms (or have been in touch with someone showing symptoms)
  • Measure temperature of all incoming staff/visitors every day when they arrive. If someone has higher than normal temperature, isolate the person immediately and send into quarantine (at home if possible)
  • Define critical areas (typically electrolysis, rodding shop, casthouse) and impose a holiday ban for all staff from critical areas
    o Divide the staff of critical areas into more than usual shifts (if not done anyway) and separate members of shifts from each other (not the same washing room, not the same lunch area, ask employees not to meet outside of work etc.)
    o Call retired or previous staff from critical areas and ask them to be on stand-by if at all possible
  • Delay any non-essential work to reduce workforce on site
  • Ensure an uninterrupted supply chain for strategic raw materials

Measures in detail

Operational details

  • Consider to delay any relining activity
  • Increase the security stock of raw materials on site (especially strategic) in case your usual supply chain faces interruption, especially for materials with geographic supply concentration and/or single source setup
  • If you have a Carbon plant, produce excess Anodes and store them
  • If you produce Alloys/Shapes, consider an alternative (standard shapes for example) in case the casthouse staff has to be reduced
  • Adapt standard safety procedures (like “three points of contact” rule) to be performed with safety gloves to avoid smear infections

Basic hygiene

  • Put up ample soap and disinfectants, if available to you
  • Ask everyone to frequently wash hands with soap (for minimum 20 seconds), especially before eating, after toilet usage, touching surfaces etc.
  • Before touching surfaces of frequent use (doorknobs, shared equipment, mobile equipment steering etc.), disinfect those surfaces
  • Hang-up leaflets everywhere in the plant to keep staff reminded about hygiene measures and social distancing, both during work and off-work-hours
  • Set up closed bins in order to dispose masks and other tools in a safe manner and disinfect garbage twice a day
  • Increase frequency of cleaning/disinfection of jointly used areas (washing room, toilets, lunch area)
  • Sneeze and cough into your elbow

Social distancing

  • No handshakes in business and in private settings
  • Keep a distance of at least 2m from your co-workers or other people, except people in your household
  • During lunch hours, no more than 2 people on a table, sit at least 2m apart and outside if possible
  • Limit your social contacts and avoid being in large groups of people or attending events of more than 5 people
  • Train/Instruct staff in several small groups in order to keep the 2m distance between them
  • Try to avoid any personal meeting with Vendors and other visitors if at all possible, but especially when:
    1. They had been travelling or staying within a higher risk zone in the last 14 days
    2. They face symptoms, such as fever, coughing, and/or respiratory distress
    3. They have a household member showing one of these symptoms


  • Stay up to date with information from reliable news outlets or your local government
  • Ask the staff to avoid traveling. In fact, one should stay home to the extent possible (at least adhering to local restrictions, but stricter than regulations is preferred)
  • Call a doctor and explain your symptoms over the phone should you suspect being infected (do not enter a medical center or hospital without wearing a protective mask to protect others)
  • Get tested on the Coronavirus if you show symptoms (fever, dry cough, respiratory distress)
  • Report confirmed cases immediately to local community and government and inform the people in your household or people you have met in the past 14 days, especially if you had been in contact with an infected person

We are grateful for any feedback and intend to update the document as we go.

We wish you and your families all the best and the necessary strength to get through this situation.

Your Bathco Team


The information herein are based on inputs from other companies and Aluminium smelters, on publicly available information about the Coronavirus and on our own assessment and measures. Bathco cannot take responsibility for the accuracy of the information or for those measures being the best available for your specific situation, nor for them leading to the desired result.