Ford outlines safety plans to restart production amid coronavirus outbreak

Posted at 1:31 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 17:17:21-04

DEARBORN, Mich. (WXYZ) — Ford Motor Company announced Thursday safety plans as the automaker looks to restart production amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Ford, the standards and precautions expand on those that are currently being used at Ford facilities in China where work has already resumed.

Workers building medical supplies have been wearing face masks, face shields and other personal protection equipment while maintaining at least six feet between workers.

“We’ve been working intently on how to restart our operations and safely bring back our employees and we’re ready,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s chief operating officer. “We have gone through and trialed these processes. We’re abiding by our first principles, and we are working with our union and government partners to restart. Getting back to work isn’t just good news for Ford employees. It’s also good news for our suppliers, car dealers and the ecosystems that provide services around them, like restaurants, shops and stores. This economic multiplier effect is going to help reboot communities around the globe.”

The automaker announced plans to begin restarting production in Europe on May 4, and a small number of hourly and salaried employees returned to work this week in North American to begin installing equipment. Exact return-to-work dates have not yet been announced.

“The health and safety of our employees has been – and remains – our top priority as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kiersten Robinson, Ford’s chief human resources officer. “We are taking extensive measures that apply best practices from around the world to make sure all of our facilities and workplaces will be safe, clean and secure for when we return to work on-site. Every team member will play a role in protecting themselves and their colleagues as Ford reopens facilities around the world.”

Safety actions Ford will take include:

- Daily online health self-certifications completed before work every day. Employees who have symptoms will be told not to come to work.
- No-touch temperature scans upon arrival
- Required face masks for everyone
- Safety glasses with side shields
- Hand sanitation stations
- Social distancing measures between employees

“Science and data are driving Ford’s return to work, including close collaboration with experts in the field of infectious disease and epidemiology, to set safety standards we are confident will protect employees as they return to work,” said Dr. Walter Talamonti, corporate medical director at Ford. “The protocols we’ve established will require employees take multiple steps every day to make sure that they are safe, healthy and able to work.”

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