DUNTON, U.K.– Ford confirmed today that it intends to restart initial production at its Dagenham Engine Plant in Essex and Bridgend Engine Plant in South Wales from May 18.
Together with Valencia Engine Plant in Spain, which also restarted production today, the resumption of production at Dagenham and Bridgend means that all of Ford’s European manufacturing facilities will be back at work.
A limited number of employees have continued to work on company sites in the U.K. over recent weeks to ensure the ongoing provision of critical services. These activities continue to build up on a progressive basis towards more normal business levels. In addition, non-production employees whose roles require specialist equipment only available onsite started to return to work in greater numbers from May 4. Those non-production employees who can work remotely are continuing to do so for the present time.
“As we return to work at our two engine plants in the U.K., 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,” said Graham Hoare, chairman, Ford of Britain.
A comprehensive set of Ford global standards on social distancing and employee health and safety actions – and which exceed the UK Government’s current guidance – are being implemented across Ford’s facilities in the U.K., including but not limited to:
- Requiring anyone entering a Ford facility to use a company-provided face mask, and a face shield in select manufacturing positions and other positions where social distancing cannot be met
- All persons entering a Ford facility to have their body temperature checked on entry with scanning equipment that meets any local or national regulations and restrictions
- Completion of a daily, wellness self-assessment process to confirm employee fitness and readiness for work before entering a Ford facility
- Redesigning of work areas to ensure social distancing guidelines are maintained and phased return to work to reduce employee density in buildings and on production lines
The company also will provide all employees with a personal “care kit”. The care kits include disposable face masks, reusable thermometer and other hygiene items.
Ford will continue to build ventilator sub-assemblies for the VentilatorChallengeUK Consortium which is supplying the National Health Service with the much-needed units. The facility used in the assembly of the ventilators is separate from the main engine plant buildings at Dagenham and has no impact on engine production.
Ford also is producing face masks for its U.K. employees and those across its facilities in Europe. By producing face masks for its own use, Ford is helping reduce demand on stretched supply chains for personal protection equipment also needed by medical services such as the National Health Service and other industries.
“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,” said Graham Hoare.
“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 National Health Service 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.”