Canadian Manufacturing

FCA prepares to restart North American operations

Thorough daily cleaning schedules to be instituted to maintain enhanced levels of cleanliness and disinfection

May 13, 2020  by CM Staff

PHOTO: FCA

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – On May 12, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) developed a program of safety measures to protect employees, their families and the surrounding communities from the spread and transmission of COVID-19 when the North American manufacturing plants reopen.

“Above everything else, our top priority has always been to do what is right for our employees,” Mike Manley, FCA CEO, said in a prepared statement. “We have worked closely with the unions to establish protocols that will ensure our employees feel safe at work and that every step possible has been taken to protect them.

“We have drawn on our collective global expertise and best practices to rethink our production processes to put in place comprehensive protocols to keep our workforce safe,” Manley said. “There is no question that coming to work will look and feel different.”

Aligned with World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommendations, FCA’s protocols were communicated as part of a Return to Work package mailed to nearly 47,000 U.S. and Canadian represented employees. Mexico will share the same information through in-person training.

According to a company statement, FCA will be implementing layers of protection to combat the spread and transmission of COVID-19. This includes cleaning, disinfecting and social distancing, but most importantly, ensuring the wellness of everyone entering an FCA facility.

FCA will require its employees, as well as all visitors, to complete a Daily Health Risk Assessment, which consists of:

  • Taking their temperature less than two hours before reporting to work or visiting the site with either a company-provided temperature strip or personal thermometer
  • Completing a self-screening questionnaire and turning it in upon entry

As an added measure of safety, FCA is installing thermal imaging cameras to verify what employees and visitors have self-reported.

Employees will be required to wear masks and safety glasses at all times when in the facility. Employees will be asked to wear gloves and safety glasses when applying or cleaning with disinfectant spray. Visitors and contractors to FCA facilities will be required to provide their own personal protection equipment for entry.

During the production pause, FCA completed a  number of cleaning and social distancing activities to prepare its facilities for when operations resume. These include:

Cleaning and Disinfecting:

  • More than 57 million square feet of manufacturing floor space cleaned and disinfected
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting schedules developed for common and high traffic areas, including turnstiles, restrooms, cafeterias, locker rooms and conference rooms
  • 135 hand-held foggers distributed for more efficient cleaning
  • Provided cleaning supplies at all workstations so surfaces can be cleaned and disinfected
  • Installed more than 2,000 hand sanitizer stations across all facilities
  • Daily audits to be conducted to ensure new standards are followed

Social Distancing:

  • More than 17,000 workstations analyzed and evaluated for adherence to six-foot social distancing guidelines
  • More than 4,700 job areas and workstations redesigned or protective barriers installed to allow for more social distancing
  • Installed plexiglass partitions and created visual management guides for social distancing in break areas and cafeterias, as well as throughout all buildings
  • Staggered start times and added time to breaks and lunch
  • Suspended meetings of more than eight employees and transitioned to virtual meetings, when possible
  • Put new approval protocols in place for facility visitors

Upon the restart of production, FCA announced they will be adopting a new level of daily cleaning and disinfecting, in accordance with WHO, CDC and OSHA recommendations, at all manufacturing locations.

Signage promoting the themes of health and safety have been posted throughout all facilities to remind employees and visitors of proper protocols related to cleaning, social distancing, required personal protection equipment and handwashing or sanitizing.

Employees also will participate in small-group training sessions on the new policies and procedures as part of their first-day activities.

“In this new environment, we all need to take responsibility for our own safety and that of the people around us,” said Scott Garberding, FCA’s global chief manufacturing officer. “An effective start-up will require detailed understanding, teaching, coaching and patience from all of us.”


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