Bisleri International’s in-house ozone therapy procedure turned out to be a blessing for the Company during the COVID-19 outbreak. Bisleri Cares is the health and immunity protocol it used for its employees, especially staff who handled the essential services or water supply during lockdown. In-house doctors (who have been practising and researching on ozone therapy for the last 18 years) energise the staff with the therapy and also give them vitamin injections to help them reduce their risk.
The pandemic-induced lockdowns made many businesses go remote, but essential services were allowed to operate. That had put several people at the risk of contracting infection while delivering their duties. Bisleri, therefore, decided to amp up the ozone therapy procedure to ensure that its loaders, delivery guys and factory workers are well taken care of. The therapy is majorly focused on boosting an employee’s immune system, which, last year, was the decisive factor in determining who survived or perished from the contraction.
“Ozone therapy improves innate immunity. Here, we take the employee’s blood, mix it with ozone and then re-inject it into the same employee, to develop antibodies, which help fight any infection.”
Dr Mili Shah, president, Ozone Forum of India, trustee, Bisleri Charitable Trust
The therapy is imparted at the Mumbai plant, in the Bisleri Tower. Parag Bengali, director – HR & finance, Bisleri International, trustee – Bisleri Charitable Trust, explains that since Bisleri came under essential services, they had to run the factory during the lockdown. “We ensured that the movement was restricted so we arranged nearby hotels to house our employees who needed to come to the factory during the lockdown. Hotels were systemically sanitised. We conducted two different webinars on health and mental wellbeing. We treat our employees as business partners. People who were working from home were given homeopathy medicines.” Bengali also reveals that a lot of employees were concerned about their jobs. “We communicated this early on that nobody will lose their jobs. We made sure everyone was paid their salaries on time,” Bengali asserted. That boosted their confidence in the Company.
Explaining the complete procedure of ozone therapy, Dr Mili Shah – president, Ozone Forum of India, trustee, Bisleri Charitable Trust, says, “Ozone therapy improves innate immunity. It uses oxygen and has been successfully employed in Spain and China for the treatment of COVID-19 when lockdown started. We decided to treat the employees with vitamin correction and minor auto haemo-therapy or auto vaccination. Here, we take the employee’s blood, mix it with ozone and then re-inject it into the same employee. This develops antibodies, which help fight any infection.”
About 320 people were administered the ozone treatment in the Mumbai plant only. Since a clinical setup is required for execution of the therapy, employees in other parts of the country were given guidance via webinars. They were enlightened on how to boost their immunity, sanitise their groceries and other such key activities to avoid getting infected.
Bengali also informs, “All the vehicles used for dispatches were sanitised every time, so drivers had a lot of faith. Within a few days of the lockdown, we facilitated COVID insurance for all staff members, workers and contract workers. Over 2000 workers came under this COVID policy.” That’s not the only measure taken up by the organisation to safeguard its employees. Ozone tunnels were installed at the entrance to sanitise the employees working at the sites of any germs.
“We are strictly following three rules — not calling employees every day to avoid crowding in the office; following flexible shift timings from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on a rotational basis; ensuring that wearing of masks is mandatory in the factory.”
Parag Bengali, director – HR & finance, Bisleri International
Moving ahead, the organisation may consider repeating the process with the employees, since nine months have passed. Dr Mili explains, “Post a particular amount of ozone therapy and few sessions of vitamin correction, one is good to go for four to five months. This whole procedure has been explained to them. Now that nine months have been completed, we may do a few sessions again.” The employees are given a thorough detailing of the procedure and only when they give consent, do the doctors go ahead with the therapy.
Out of the 320 people who benefitted from ozone therapy, seven of them contracted COVID-19 and were moved to BMC’s quarantine centres. Necessary medicines were made available to them and they recovered within 8-10 days. Apart from that, certain important medicines were made available to the employees, for instance cough or fever medicines. Bengali reveals that a few days into the lockdown, private practitioners had closed their clinics and people were afraid of going to hospitals for other ailments. That’s why a few necessary medicines were provided to the employees.
Post-COVID, a few things will be different at the Bisleri work sites. Bengali lists, “We are strictly following three things— not calling employees every day to avoid crowding in the office; following flexible shift timings from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on a rotational basis; ensuring that wearing of masks is mandatory in the factory.” The Company has also put a stop to travelling. Even if the need arises for a person to visit different Bisleri centres across the country for work, we advise them to avoid the visits and resort to video-calls and conferencing to get the work done. Employees who have fever or cold, are asked to avoid coming to work for at least 10 days. No leaves are deducted so that they don’t come to work just to save leaves. Also, “We understand that those home quarantining due to COVID-19, need support, and therefore, we encourage all such caregivers to work from home.”
A stitch in time — its unique ozone therapy procedure — definitely saved many at Bisleri. The organisation is looking to continue its work in the direction of employee safety and well-being in the coming months. It will wait and watch how the vaccination drive pans out before making a decision in this regard.