Safety top priority as Ford looks to restart manufacturing worldwide
The standards and precautions expand on those used in Ford facilities in China
DEARBORN, Mich. – On April 30, Ford outlined its global health and safety protocols as it phases in the restart of its global plants.
The standards and precautions 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. The people building those medical supplies have been wearing face masks, face shields and other personal protection equipment (PPE), and maintaining at least six feet of space 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 chief operating officer, in a prepared statement. “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.”
Ford is working to restart manufacturing in the U.S. and North America. The company 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.
The plan to return to work will continue to be updated with input from medical experts, including an external epidemiologist, infectious disease experts and the World Health Organization.
Reopening safety protocols include scheduling more time between production shifts to limit interaction between employees and allow for additional cleaning. Workspaces have been modified where possible to allow for social distancing, and all Ford employees will receive PPE to be worn inside Ford facilities.
Supervisors are instructed to have salaried employees work according to specific schedules to prevent unnecessary contact. Cafeterias, small meeting rooms, fitness centers and other small common areas where social distancing is not possible will remain closed.
Safety actions include:
- Daily online health self-certifications completed before work every day. Employees or visitors who indicate they may have symptoms or may have been exposed to the virus will be told not to come to work.
- No-touch temperature scans upon arrival. Anyone with a raised temperature will not be permitted to enter and will be instructed to visit a physician.
- 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.
- Safety glasses with side shields or face shields as added requirements when jobs don’t allow for social distancing.
- Facilities that have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and will be cleaned with increased frequency when they reopen.
- Hand sanitation stations throughout Ford facilities and CDC signs with proper handwashing methods in all restrooms.
- A book with procedures and protocols that detail how Ford team will help keep everyone safe and healthy.
Ford shared the company is also assisting dealers as they prepare to re-open their showrooms. Among other initiatives, the company is supplying U.S. dealerships with staff and customer PPE, such as masks and hand sanitizer.