JCB has announced a partial re-starting of production at five of its UK factories as a package of safety measures is rolled out to protect employees in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
British production lines fell silent on March 18 and the vast majority of JCB’s 6,500 UK employees have been furloughed though the UK government’s job retention scheme since April.
With UK PM Boris Johnson recently ’actively encouraging’ those who can’t work from home, including construction and manufacturing staff, to return to work, JCB has confirmed that low levels of production are resuming.
The company has released a far-reaching package of safety measures introduced to fully protect employees which include:
· Employees to self-assess for Covid-19 symptoms before leaving home
· Temperature checks overseen by medical staff for every employee arriving for work
· Issuing of surgical masks to office and shop floor employees
· Provision of visors for shop floor employees for extra protection
· Introduction of thermal imaging cameras at UK plants later this month
· Widespread provision of hand sanitiser
· Clearly-marked walkways and a reduction in office desks to maximise social distancing
· Closure of canteen facilities and vending machines and suspension of car sharing schemes
· Disabling of lavatory hand dryers in favour of paper towels
· Working from home for employees where at all possible
JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald, said, “Production has resumed at a very low level, mainly to satisfy demand for agricultural machinery. Ahead of this re-start, an exhaustive review was undertaken to enable us to introduce wide-ranging measures that will best protect our employees. The actions we have taken ensure that safe distancing between employees on-site can be achieved at all times.
“In circumstances where risks are greater, additional protective visors are being provided. The health and safety of our employees is absolutely paramount as we all adjust to this new normal and the measures we have put in place will ensure we all stay healthy and avoid risks.”
The Loadall division at the World HQ, Rocester, Staffordshire, JCB Earthmovers and JCB Landpower in Cheadle, Staffordshire have resumed production along with JCB Transmissions in Wrexham and JCB Cab Systems at Uttoxeter. The move means a return to work for more than 400 employees.