JCB has announced a partial restarting of production at four of its factories in the United Kingdom.
The return to manufacturing is also paired with a comprehensive package of safety measures that have been rolled out to protect employees at JCB’s facilities in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis.
The Loadall division at the World HQ, JCB Earthmovers and JCB Landpower have resumed production along with JCB Transmissions and JCB Cab Systems. The move means a return to work for more than 400 employees.
“Production has resumed at a very low level, mainly to satisfy demand for agricultural machinery,” said JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald. “Ahead of this re-start, an exhaustive review was undertaken to enable us to introduce wide-ranging measures that will best protect our employees.”
Production lines in the United Kingdom fell silent on March 18 and the vast majority of JCB’s 6,500 UK employees have been furloughed since April.
As low levels of production resume, safety measures will include temperature checks, overseen by medical staff, for every employee arriving for work, frequent us of provided hand sanitizer, as well as the provision of surgical masks to office and shop employees. Face shields will also be provided to employees on the shop floor.
JCB also plans to introduce thermal imaging cameras at its plants in late May. As well, employees are asked to self-assess for COVID-19 symptoms before leaving home. Working from home is also encouraged when it is possible.
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To maximize social distancing, JCB has clearly marked walkways and reduced the number of desks in offices. The company has also closed is canteens and vending machines and suspension of car sharing.
Bathroom hand dryers are also disabled in favour of paper towels.
“The actions we have taken ensure that safe distancing between employees on-site can be achieved at all times,” Macdonald said.
“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.”