In a statement, General Motors Co said, it has begun rolling out a series of safety protocols for workers in Indiana who will be manufacturing ventilators. The development underscores a development that could potentially be a blueprint for re-opening U.S. auto plants in the coming weeks.
More than 1,000 workers from the company will be making the ventilators at GM’s Kokomo, plant in Indiana. GM aims to commence mass production by mid-April. By summer, it aims to produce 10,000 ventilators a month.
Part of GM’s measures includes checking workers’ temperature as they arrive for work; each work station will also be placed at least 6 feet (1.83 m) apart, said GM.
The measures also include a 30-minute interval between shifts which will allow workers to clean their work stations before they leave / arrive. Cleaning crews will sanitize common areas and as well as “touch areas” including door handles, at least three times per shift.
GM’s spokeswoman said, the measures may form a blueprint for safety protocols at the rest of GM’s plants once the automaker decides to restart production when the pandemic crisis recedes.
Other large U.S. employers, including Amazon.com Inc, are also laying the basic groundwork to bring back employees to workplaces using screening and social distancing measures that addresses COVID-19 safety concerns.
GM has been collaborating with Ventec Life Systems, a ventilator firm, as well as with numerous auto suppliers and other ventilator firms even as U.S. officials warn that the United States may require tens of thousands of additional ventilators to treat those who have been seriously afflicted by the disease.