I remember not long ago my first time to a supermarket during the pandemic.  My wife had done all of the shopping to that point and I was nervous about making sure I was doing all the right things.  I was aware of the new supermarket protocols but within the first 2 minutes, I had already gone the wrong way down an aisle and was crowding & passing folks.  The significant amount of change to a place I knew very well coupled with my slight apprehension about returning to the store led to mistakes.  As your employees start coming back and settling into their existing or new jobs, the time is right to think about enhancing your visual controls.

Visual controls should be in places where decisions need to be made. These controls should clearly indicate that a wrong decision has been made and should convey in an easy to understand format how to remedy the situation.  Visual controls can help to establish a safe and functional working area, where people (even outsiders) can easily tell whether things have deviated from the standard or something is amiss.

Where is it acceptable to stand or sit?

What PPE should be worn in an area?

NY State has recently released guidelines for reopening business, these include the following:

NY Forward Business Reopening Safety Plan Template
Reopening New York – Manufacturing Master Guidance
Reopening New York – Manufacturing Short Guidelines

Organizations should evaluate these recommendations, create a list of all the changes that will be implemented, and determine what visual controls could be purchased or created to establish a safe and comfortable working environment.  Some creative folks in the Boston area (I am guessing) came up with this:

Some of the stock signage, floor stickers, posters, and banners that can be purchased include:

I liked the creativity of this one, unfortunately it does not meet the new social distancing guidelines:

Many of these visual controls are best suited for placement on the floor.  You may have limited durability or visibility with some of the custom solutions you put in place to help facilitate a quick reopening.  For longer lasting, more clearly presented visual controls you may look to purchase adhesive decals and stickers.  Listed below are a just a few of the many sites that are selling physical distancing visual controls:

Many standard and custom Covid-19 related wall signs and posters can be purchased online and in local stores.  Some of the local printers promoting social distancing materials include:

We are all in this together; if any of our clients or partners have successfully implemented changes regarding these concepts and are willing to share with the WNY manufacturing community, we are asking you to submit them to us and we can share these best practices with all the manufacturers in our community. Descriptions, photos, examples, etc. would be beneficial and we can give you credit for any submissions that would be published.

Please submit any ideas to:  


Read more of Insyte’s #ReopenWNY blog series:

Reopen WNY: Getting Started Within New Guidelines – Recently we received the long awaited announcement that manufacturers within WNY are now allowed to reopen. Along with this good news, there are some required constraints to protect against the spread of COVID-19.





Insyte Consulting