Thousands of Corvette enthusiasts who have C8s on order can breathe a little easier, knowing all that General Motors is doing to keep its workers safe from COVID-19 and keep the assembly lines rolling company-wide.
That’s the word from a story written by Jamie L. LaReau of the Detroit Free-Press yesterday.
The COVID-19 response is good news for Corvette fans, who are anxiously waiting for the Bowling Green Assembly Plant to crank up again Tuesday morning.
GM spokesman Jim Cain told the Free-Press Wednesday night that the company has not had an instance of community spread in any of its 29 North American facilities reopened so far. “Our production restart has gone smoothly, and our health and safety protocols are working,” Cain said.
GM believes one reason for the good restart is the lessons it learned from developing and implementing similar safety policies for reopening its plants in China and South Korea earlier this year.
Also playing a key role in the success so far has been GM’s willingness to make sure employees are familiar with the company’s safety procedures and to answer their questions. Also critical was the company’s decision to test the new safety protocols on 1,000 workers at GM’s plant in Arlington, Texas in the weeks prior to starting up operations at other facilities this week. Cain said managers walked the floor at the plant reminding workers to keep their masks on, socially distance, and wash their hands – enforcement that continues at all GM facilities.
The smooth start doesn’t mean that no employees have tested positive for the virus. “You can’t go so far as to say no sick workers/exposed workers,” Cain said. “Just no community spread. And nothing that has been so disruptive as happened at Ford.”
After employees tested positive, Ford had to close down the lines at two of its plants this week.
GM’s policy is that employees identified as having been exposed to the virus or displaying symptoms are tested on-site and then sent home until results are determined by a lab.
Two workers at the Lockport Operations plant in New York tested positive after being exposed to the virus outside of work; one called in sick and did not report to work, and Cain did not have information about the other. Fortunately, operations were able to continue there, and Cain said he believes there is “very little risk” that anyone inside the plant has been exposed to the virus there “because everyone, including the individual, has been following our extensive, multilayered health and safety procedures, which include wearing masks, hand washing and sanitizing, temperature screening, and physical distancing.”
GM has also made its safety playbook, some 40 pages worth of information, available to the public, Cain said.
“We are sharing everything we are doing to keep people safe at work so that our team, their families and neighbors know we are working hard to restart the American economy with people’s health as our first priority,” Cain said. “The same commitment to safety has been embraced by our suppliers because we are all in this together. Our dealers are doing their part, too.”
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