Aston Martin has begun a phased return to work for a number of its manufacturing staff as the Warwickshire car maker looks to resume operations.
The Gaydon-based company said it is looking to “prudently restart car making” while “adjusting to the new normal”.
Working in partnership with trade unions, Aston Martin has developed detailed return-to-work protocols to be followed by employees returning to their jobs.
Initially staff are returning to the car maker’s new factory in St Athan, South Wales, where it is building its new DBX SUV.
The company said production workers at its global headquarters in Gaydon will follow at a later date, as will office and support staff at other UK sites.
The new site operating procedures are aimed at protecting individual staff members, their colleagues, their families and the wider community.
New social distancing, health and hygiene instructions cover every aspect of a staff member’s interaction with work.
They include preparing to leave home, arriving on site, navigating the site, breaks and mealtimes, falling ill whilst at work, dealing with visitors and contractors and leaving the site.
There is also detailed guidance on PPE management, travel between Aston Martin sites and pool car arrangements.
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Instructions have been drawn up to support social distancing, with limits on employee numbers on site.
Appropriate PPE is being provided to all returning staff, for example mandatory use of masks at all time while on site.
Temperature checks on arrival at work are also being introduced.
Scott Ward, director of manufacturing at Aston Martin’s St Athan site, said: “The safety and ongoing good health of our staff is absolutely paramount in our thinking as we slowly and carefully return to car building.
“The arrangements we have put in place here for our phased return to work as we continue to build the brand’s first SUV – the highly anticipated DBX – are designed to support the health and safety of staff while, of course, doing everything we can to ensure we do not add to the burden already being borne by the incredibly dedicated frontline staff of the NHS.”
Since the lockdown began Aston Martin staff have been engaged in a number of activities designed to help in the fight against Covid-19.
They include the manufacture of various items of PPE and the offer of free emergency repairs to NHS workers’ cars.