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Ford Reopening Manufacturing Plants With Safety Protocols

05/04/2020
Ford outlined its global health and safety protocols, sharing how best practices and input from around the world are helping to protect its workforce, dealers, customers and suppliers as it phases in the restart of its global plants.

Ford said "it is working to safely restart manufacturing in the U.S. and North America. The company recently announced plans to begin that process in Europe on May 4, and a small number of hourly and salaried employees returned to work this week in North America to begin installing equipment and putting in place new safety protocols.”

Safety protocols include; no-touch temperature scans upon arrival to the plant. Anyone with a raised temperature will not be permitted to enter and will be instructed to visit a physician to be cleared before returning to work.

Required face masks for everyone entering a Ford facility. Every Ford team member will be provided a care kit including a face mask and other items to help keep them healthy and comfortable at work.

Safety glasses with side shields or face shields will be requirements when jobs don’t allow for social distancing. Ford said it is evaluating workstations and work patterns and will implement other measures that protect workers whose jobs are typically performed within 6 feet of another person.

Ford will be locating Hand sanitation stations throughout the plant and scheduling more time between production shifts to limit interaction between employees and allow for additional cleaning. Cafeterias, small meeting rooms, fitness centers and other small common areas where social distancing is not possible will remain closed.

“The standards and precautions introduced this week expand on those used in Ford facilities in China, where work has already resumed, and in the U.S., where Ford has been manufacturing medical equipment for weeks,” a company spokesperson explained. “The people building those medical supplies have stayed safe and healthy by wearing face masks, face shields and other personal protection equipment, and maintaining at least 6 feet of space from other Ford people wherever possible.”

“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 COO. “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.”

No automaker employs more hourly workers in the U.S. than Ford, which manufactures and exports more vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker. Last year Ford built more than 492,000 more vehicles in America than the next highest-producing automaker.

F-Series alone requires four U.S. plants, approximately 19,000 Ford employees and 2,000 U.S. suppliers, and generates an estimated $50.2 billion in global sales revenue annually. That’s more than the 2019 annual revenues of American Express, Coca-Cola, Cisco Systems and Delta Airlines, the automaker said.

“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.”

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