JCB ceased production at its UK based plants on 18 March, with the majority of its 6,500 employees laid off since April due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This week, almost two months on, the firm has announced the partial reopening of its British manufacturing facilities, as low levels of production resume.
Return to work
The move means a return to work for more than 400 employees. These factories in the UK include the Staffordshire-based Loadall division, JCB Earthmovers and JCB Landpower, along with JCB Transmissions in Wrexham and JCB Cab Systems at Uttoxeter.
Employees have been informed to self-assess for COVID-19 symptoms before leaving home
Employees have been informed to self-assess for COVID-19 symptoms before leaving home, while medical staff are set to oversee temperature checks on staff arrival to work. Thermal imaging cameras are to be installed later this month.
Office and shopfloor staff are being issued with surgical masks and face visors. Numbers of office desks will be reduced, along with the widespread availability of hand sanitiser and more clearly-marked walkways to help aid social distancing.
Employees who can work from home where possible will remain doing so.
Staff canteens and vending machines will remain closed and paper towels are to replace hand dryers. Car-sharing schemes are also to be suspended. All these measures are to help reduce the possible spread of COVID-19.
The actions we have taken ensure that safe distancing between employees on-site can be achieved at all times
JCB CEO Graeme MacDonald said: “Production has resumed at a very low level, mainly to satisfy demand for agricultural machinery.
"Ahead of this restart, an exhaustive review was undertaken to enable us to introduce wide-ranging measures that will best protect our employees.
"The actions we have taken ensure that safe distancing between employees on-site can be achieved at all times. 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.”