General Motors last week brought a series of safety measures for employees in Indiana who will make ventilators, outlining what could be a blueprint for starting U.S. auto plants in the coming weeks.
Over 1,000 GM workers are going to make the ventilators at GM’s Kokomo, Indiana, plant. The automaker intends to start mass production by mid-April and to make 10,000 ventilators monthly by summer.
The measures consists of checking workers’ temperature as they reach for work, and each work station will be placed at least 6 feet (1.83 m) apart, the automaker said.
There will be a 30-minute interval between shifts so employees can clean their work stations when they reach and before they leave. Cleaning crews will sanitize common areas and “touch areas” like door handles, at least three times per shift.
A spokeswoman for the automaker said the measures may form a blueprint for safety protocols at the rest of the automaker’s plants once the automaker decides to resume production when the pandemic crisis recedes.
Other prominent automakers and large U.S. employers in other industries, including Amazon.com Inc, are laying the groundwork to bring workers back to workplaces using screening and social distancing to address COVID-19 safety issues.
The automaker has been working with ventilator firm Ventec Life Systems, numerous auto suppliers and other ventilator companies as officials warn the United States may need tens of thousands of extra ventilators to treat seriously ill patients.
About 337,309 people in the US have been confirmed as being infected with the coronavirus. The virus has killed 9,643 people in the country.