FCA's Plan to Restart Factories Includes Extensive Safety Measures

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【Summary】When FCA workers return to factories on May 18, they’ll be put through more safety measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Jun 22, 2020 12:00 PM PT
FCA's Plan to Restart Factories Includes Extensive Safety Measures

Like many other automakers, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has plans to reopen factories on May 18. To ensure workers are safe during the coronavirus pandemic, the automaker has made some extensive changes, including various safety measures, to make sure employees are kept safe.

Going Beyond Keeping Things Clean

According to the Detroit Free Press, FCA has cleaned and disinfected approximately 57 million square feet of space since it's been closed. The outlet claims that the automaker has been the hit the hardest out of the Detroit Three, as the brand has lost 22 members of its workforce. Beyond giving its North American plants a thorough cleaning, FCA is also taking some safety measures.

For one, there will be a daily health risk assessment. What that means, is employees and visitors will have their temperatures taken less than "two hours before reporting to work or visiting the site" with a personal thermometer or a company-provided temperature strip. A self-screening questionnaire will also have to be completed and turned in before entering a facility. Lastly, FCA has incorporated thermal imaging cameras to check for elevated temperatures.

Once workers get inside the building, they'll be provided with masks and safety glasses, which they'll have to wear at all times. When cleaning or applying disinfectant spray, gloves and safety glasses will be required, as well. Visitors or contractors that want to visit one of FCA's facilities will be required to provide their own personal protection equipment.

Will Other Automakers Introduce Similar Procedures?

"We have taken a ‘belt and suspenders' approach to mitigating the spread of this virus by implementing lots of layers and protection," said Scott Garberding, FCA's global chief manufacturing officer. "You are a key part of successfully resuming operations. In this new environment, we all need to take responsibility for our own safety and that of the people around us. An effective start-up will require detailed understanding, teaching, coaching and patience from all of us."

FCA also made other changes, which include:

- The addition of 2,000 hand sanitizer stations

- Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting schedules for high traffic areas

- Analyzing and evaluation 17,000 workstations to ensure a six-foot separation between workers

- Installation and redesign of protective barriers in more than 4,700 job areas

- Adding plexiglass partitions and visual management guides for social distancing in common rest areas

Additionally, FCA will take 10 minutes per shift to clean and disinfect employee workstations. Apparently, the cleaning and disinfecting schedule will meet health regulations.

The changes are extensive and frankly for more intensive than what we expected to see. Hopefully, they'll keep workers safe as automakers look to get production back up to normal after being closed for roughly a month. Other automakers haven't announced what kind of changes they've made to factories yet, but with FCA leading the way, we're sure others will follow the American automaker's lead with similar measures.

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