Ford has implemented a gradual restart of its South African operations from June 1, including starting production of vehicles and engines and bringing back the first wave of employees who are unable to do their jobs. from a distance.
“We have worked closely with the national government, our security and medical teams, our unions and our workforce to reopen our assembly plant in Silverton, Pretoria, and the engine plant in Struandale, in Port Elizabeth, ”said Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) vice president of operations Ockert Bay.
“Since the beginning of April, we have been producing face shields at the Silverton plant and using the lessons of this project, as well as the contributions of our global Ford teams, the Department of Health and our medical specialists to ensure that we take the right precautions to ensure the safety of our workforce. ”
The FMCSA expects the ramp-up process to be gradual as workers adapt to new health and safety protocols and the entire supply chain adapts.
Employees who can work remotely will continue to do so, including Ford’s administrative, finance, sales and marketing staff.
This phased approach allows the company to effectively implement new safety protocols and provide personal protective equipment to all employees upon their return to work.
“Our human resources, medical, safety, engineering and facilities teams at both factories have used the last two weeks to fully prepare for the safe return to work of our employees,” notes Berry.
“All workstations, equipment, offices and common areas have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, and this will be repeated daily before each shift. Cleaning agents, disinfectants and hand sanitizer stations have been provided in all office spaces, production areas and meeting rooms to enable employees to maintain necessary hygiene standards.
“In addition, social distancing measures have been implemented and demarcated in facilities, offices and common areas to allow employees to easily maintain the minimum two-meter separation.
“We also have dedicated flu clinics in both factories for employees or contractors who show cold or flu symptoms during working hours,” Berry adds.
“The clinics are run by specially trained medical staff to assess the person’s condition and indicate whether further testing or medical treatment is needed. If there are confirmed cases of Covid-19 in our factories, we have protocols in place for contact tracing, self-isolation, reporting of cases, as well as cleaning and disinfection procedures. intensive. “
Ford dealers are also gradually stepping up their operations in accordance with government guidelines.
After moving to Alert Level 3 restrictions from June 1, dealerships are now able to operate with their full workforce.