FCA has announced its health and safety protocols to ensure the safety of factory employees when they return to work. As expected, there is an overall focus on health screening, sanitization and physical distancing. Production is expected to resume the week of May 18, as will General Motors and Ford. Which means that upcoming products such as the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat and Ram Rebel TRX will be right around the corner.
While FCA is getting back to building cars, how they do that is going to look much different. The auto giant is taking a number of steps and precautions to ensure the safety of their employees in factories. All people entering factories will undergo mandatory, daily health screening for the foreseeable future. Employees will take their temperature within two hours of work, and complete a health questionnaire. FCA is even installing thermal imaging camera’s to monitor any warning signs.
Inside the factory, FCA has already cleaned and disinfected 57 million square feet of manufacturing space across the factories. Once FCA production restarts, there will be enhanced cleaning schedules for high traffic areas off the production line, like cafeterias, conference rooms and restrooms. All work stations on the line have cleaning supplies, while 135 hand held foggers and 2,000 hand sanitizer stations have been delivered across all facilities.
Factories will also have significant social distancing modifications. FCA says they analyzed more than 17,000 workstations, resulting in 4,700 needing to be modified to allow for better social distancing. On the production line, FCA has either spaced workers out by six feet, installed plexiglass partitions, or both. There are also visual visual spacing guides in break areas. Finally, 10 minutes of every worker’s shift have been dedicated to cleaning.
With many of FCA’s plants in Michigan, their reopening strategy has played along with Gov. Whitmer’s efforts to slow the spread of Coronavirus. In Michigan, auto factories are some of the first businesses and areas of large concentrations of people to reopen. This comes as the total cases in Michigan are set to break 50,000 on May 15, according to Michigan.gov data. Thanks to self quarantining, daily cases have trended downward since April 2.
Still, Michigan has seen random daily spikes in cases, such as May 14, where there were around 1,250 reported cases, the most since April 24. Let’s all hope this isn’t the start of a rebound, and it doesn’t impact FCA production restart plans, which seems to have all the correct precautions to ensure worker safety.