Ford will restart initial production at its Dagenham Engine Plant in Essex and Bridgend Engine Plant in South Wales today. Together with Valencia Engine Plant in Spain, which also restarts production this week, all of Ford’s European manufacturing facilities have resumed operations.
A limited number of employees have continued to work on company sites in the UK over recent weeks to ensure the ongoing provision of critical services. In addition, non-production employees whose roles require specialist equipment only available onsite started to return to work in greater numbers from May 4. Those non-production employees who can work remotely are continuing to do so for the present time.
Graham Hoare, chairman, 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.”
A comprehensive set of Ford global standards on social distancing and employee health and safety actions are being implemented across Ford’s facilities in the UK, including:
-Anyone entering a Ford facility to use a company-provided face mask, and a face shield in select manufacturing positions and other positions where social distancing cannot be met
-All persons entering a Ford facility to have their body temperature checked on entry with scanning equipment that meets any local or national regulations and restrictions
-Completion of a daily, wellness self-assessment process to confirm employee fitness and readiness for work before entering a Ford facility
-Redesigning of work areas to ensure social distancing guidelines are maintained and phased return to work to reduce employee density in buildings and on production lines
The company also will provide all employees with a personal ‘care kit’. This kit includes disposable face masks, reusable thermometer and other hygiene items.
Ford will continue to build ventilator sub-assemblies for the VentilatorChallengeUK Consortium which is supplying the National Health Service in UK with the much-needed units. The facility used in the assembly of the ventilators is separate from the main engine plant buildings at Dagenham and has no impact on engine production. Ford also is producing face masks for its UK employees and those across its facilities in Europe.
Hoare pointed out that, “The past few months have been an extraordinary period for our business and our country, but throughout the pandemic Ford people have shown the strength of character that truly makes them the backbone of Britain.”