As businesses begin to open, you have to wonder what steps will be taken when more than 50% of essential workers still don’t have the proper personal protective equipment (ppe). Ford Motor Company COO, Jim Farley, shared its return to work safety plan via webinar on Thursday and while there are no absolute dates for North American Production, they have definitely been assisting in making ppe available. On March 23rd they started the production of face shields and over 10 million have been shipped to all 50 states. And later started producing masks, gowns, respirators and ventilators.
According to Ford, in cooperation with over 350 dedicated UAW workers, is still working hard to assemble the face shields, producing 1 every 10 seconds.
The face shields fully block the face and eyes from accidental contact with liquids and when paired with N95 respirators can be a more effective way to limit potential exposure to coronavirus than N95 respirators alone.
The face shields are being delivered in partnership with HealthTrust, a leading healthcare performance optimization organization.
Ford is leveraging the in-house 3D printing capabilities of its Advanced Manufacturing Center in Redford, Mich., to manufacture components and subassemblies for use in personal protective equipment.
Ford’s plan of action for returning to work is continually updated as they confer with global medical experts. Those experts include an external epidemiologist and infectious disease experts, Ford’s GlobalData Insight and Analytics team, the UAW, in addition to employing best-practices recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the WorldHealth Organization, among others.
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 people – hourly and salaried employees – will receive personal protective equipment(PPE) to be worn inside Ford facilities.Supervisors are being instructed to have salaried employees work according to specific schedules to prevent unnecessary contact. Cafeterias, small meeting rooms, fitness centers andother 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 orvisitors who indicate they may have symptoms or may have beenexposed to the virus will be told not to come to work.
No-touch temperature scans upon arrival. Anyone with araised temperature will not bepermitted 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 willbe provided a care kit including a face mask and other items to help keep them healthyand comfortable at work.
Safety glasses with side shields or face shields as added requirements when jobs don’tallow for social distancing. Ford is evaluating workstations and work patterns and willimplement other measures that protect workers whose jobs are typically performedwithin 6 feet of another person.
Facilities that have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and will be cleaned withincreased frequency when they reopen.
Hand sanitation stations throughout Ford facilities and CDC signs with properhandwashing methods in all restrooms.
A comprehensive playbook with procedures and protocols that detail how the Ford teamwill work together to help keep everyone safe and healthy.
Ford will also assist dealerships 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. Ford is producing some equipment and sourcing other items in bulk quantities to help expedite deliveries to dealers.