Ford Dagenham staff to return to work as ventilator production continues

Ford Dagenham staff who cannot maintain a two metre distance must use a face shield when they return

Ford Dagenham staff who cannot maintain a two metre distance must use a face shield when they return to work. Picture: Ford - Credit: Ford

Ford staff are set to return to the Dagenham engine plant next week - while construction of coronavirus ventilators continues.

The car company has unveiled plans to resume work at its factories in Dagenham and Bridgend, Wales, from Monday, May 18 with strict health and safety protocols introduced to protect employees.

Non-production staff who can work remotely are continuing to do so.

Anyone entering one of the sites is required to wear a Ford-provided face mask, and those working in certain manufacturing positions where the two metre social distancing requirement cannot be met must also use a face shield.

All staff will have their body temperature checked as they enter the site each day, and must also complete a daily self-assessment process to ensure they are well enough to return to work. They will be given a personal care kit containing disposable face masks, a reusable thermometer and other hygiene items.

Work areas have been redesigned to assist with social distancing, while there will also be a phased return to work process to reduce the amount of staff in buildings and on production lines.

Graham Hoare, chairman of 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.”

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Ford will also continue to build ventilator sub-assemblies for the VentilatorChallengeUK Consortium, which is supplying the NHS with units. The facility used is separate from the main engine plant buildings at Dagenham and has no impact on engine production.

“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,” Mr Hoare added.

“From building sub-assemblies for the VentilatorChallengeUK Consortium at Dagenham, to manufacturing face masks at our Dunton Campus, and from loaning in excess of 200 vehicles to more than 40 organisations including 10 NHS ambulance trusts, to those in our workforce engaged in supporting their communities in a wide range of actions, Ford employees have made a valuable contribution to this country’s fight against coronavirus.”