MRO Magazine

FCA Prepares to Restart; Develops Safety Measures


Health & Safety

May 12, 2020
By Mario Cywinski
Mario Cywinski

Industries

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is preparing to resume its North American manufacturing operations. As such, it has developed a program of safety measures to protect employees, their families, and the surrounding communities from COVID-19, upon reopening.

“Above everything else, our top priority has always been to do what is right for our employees,” said Mike Manley, CEO, FCA. “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.

Since closing its plants in North America in March, FCA has been working to put in place best practices which enabled operations to restart at facilities in China and Italy.

FCA is implementing layers of protection to combat the spread and transmission of COVID-19. FCA is cleaning, disinfecting, and social distancing. FCA will require its employees and all visitors, to complete a daily health risk assessment, consisting of: taking temperature under two hours before reporting to work or visiting the site; and completing a self-screening questionnaire and turning it in upon entry. FCA is also installing thermal imaging cameras, and requiring employees to wear-provided masks and safety glasses at all times within the facility. Gloves and glasses will be required for applying and cleaning with disinfectant spray.

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Visitors and contractors to any FCA facility will now be required to provide their own personal protection equipment for entry.

Since the suspension of production, FCA has cleaned and disinfected over 57 million square feet of manufacturing floor space, developed enhanced cleaning and disinfecting schedules for common and high traffic areas, provided cleaning supplies at all workstations, installed over 2,000 hand sanitizer stations across all facilities, and created daily audits to be conducted to ensure new standards are followed.

New social distancing practices have been implemented. Including over 17,000 workstations analyzed for adherence to six-foot social distancing guidelines, over 4,700 job areas and workstations redesigned or protective barriers installed, installed plexiglass partitions and created visual management guides for social distancing throughout all buildings, staggered start times and added time to breaks and lunch, suspended meetings of over eight employees at a time and transitioned to virtual meetings, wherever possible, and added new approval protocols for facility visitors.

When production restarts, FCA will increase the number of times per shift high-traffic, high-use areas, and common touchpoints, are cleaned and disinfected, 10 minutes per shift will be dedicated to cleaning and disinfecting employee workstations.

Signage and training sessions on the new policies and procedures will be part of first-day back activities.

“We have taken a ‘belt and suspenders’ approach to mitigating the spread of this virus by implementing lots of layers of protection,” said Scott Garberding, Global Chief Manufacturing Officer, FCA. “You are a key part of successfully resuming operations. In this new environment, we all need to take responsibility for our own safety and that of the people around us. An effective start-up will require detailed understanding, teaching, coaching and patience from all of us.”