Škoda Auto has announced it will be resuming production at its Czech plants on 27 April while maintaining protective measures to prevent employees from becoming infected by the coronavirus.
The car manufacturer has approved a set of comprehensive measures for all areas of the business.
More than 80 individual precautions, defined together with the social partner KOVO Union, include both specific steps to keep the workforce healthy and organizational provisions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
Production at the three Czech sites has been suspended since 18 March 2020.
The list of precautions defined by Skoda includes, for example, that all employees put on a face mask when entering the factory premises. This is also applicable to external staff. Škoda Auto will provide all colleagues with the masks required, which will have to be worn at all times whilst at work.
Each shift has been allocated with additional time to clean tools, telephones, and keyboards as well as any materials and surfaces. Furthermore, all areas will be cleaned and disinfected even more frequently.
Škoda Auto has also made some changes to daily operations in order to protect the workforce. These include adapting the way staff shuttles operate, and altering procedures at factory gates, reception points and in the canteens, as well as how working hours are recorded.
Other provisions have been made for staff in production to work in smaller, fixed teams. Briefings at shift changeover are to be as short as possible, and more break time areas have been made available in order to keep personal contact and the risk of infection to a minimum.
The precautions to be taken after production resumes are set in three stages. Until further notice, stage 1 will see all of the measures apply in full.
In stage 2, certain provisions will then be lifted. Stage 3 will allow for further, gradual easing of the measures over a prolonged period of time, ensuring this is done responsibly and in a manner that keeps people safe.
At an appropriate time, the end of this third phase will enable normal daily operations to resume, meaning any currently applicable restrictions on entering the factory premises, e.g. for visitors, will be lifted.