Ford to restart UK car manufacturing at Dagenham and Bridgend
Ford today announced that it will restart production at its Dagenham and Bridgend plants on 18 May.
The vehicle giant said production would restart with social distancing and health and safety protocols in place to limit the risk of coronavirus.
The company said it was continuing to build ventilators at Dagenham as part of the Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium.
Ford said it was manufacturing its own face masks for its employees in the UK and Europe as well as providing staff with personal care kits.
The company said its engine plant in Valencia was also restarting production next week meaning all its European manufacturing plants would be back to work.
Ford said non-production employees would continue to work from home were it was possible for them to do so.
Graham Hoare, chairman of Ford of Britain, said: “As we return to work at our two engine plants in the UK, our key priority is the implementation of Ford’s global standards on social distancing and strengthened health and safety protocols to safeguard the well-being of our workforce.”
Ford said its safety protocols included requiring anyone entering a Ford plant to use a company-provided face mask, and a face shield “in select manufacturing positions and other positions where social distancing cannot be met”.
Anyone entering a Ford plant will have their body temperature checked on entry with scanning equipment.
On Monday the government published guidelines for businesses to start to return to work while mitigating the risk of coronavirus.
The so-called Covid-secure guidelines, set out practical steps for eight different workplace settings that are allowed to be open, from construction sites to factories and takeaways.
For those businesses that are open, employers have been told to carry out a Covid-19 risk assessment in consultation with their workers or trade unions to establish what guidelines should be put in place.
All firms with more than 50 employees have been told they must publish the results of this risk assessment on their website.
Employers have also been told to redesign their workplaces to ensure the 2m social distancing rule is observed. This includes staggering start times, creating one-way paths and changing seating arrangements in break rooms.
Where the 2m rule cannot be observed, firms should attempt to manage transmission risk by installing barriers in shared spaces or ensuring workers are facing away from each other.