Local MS seeks assurances that there can be a safe return to work for Ford employees at the Bridgend Engine Plant

Ahead of Ford Bridgend Engine Plant re-opening on 18th May, Bridgend Senedd Member Carwyn Jones held a virtual meeting with the Plant Manager to seek assurances that workers returning to the factory would be returning to a safe environment and to hear what measures had been put in place to keep workers safe.

Mr Jones stated that it had been a very productive and useful meeting. Ahead of the re-start, he was told that all workers should have received a guide to working safely at the Plant and a pamphlet outlining what actions have been taken to ensure that workers can return to a safe environment.

The Plant Manager said that no worker who is shielding (who has received a letter from the CMO in Wales advising them to shield) will be required to come back to work and that when workers ararive on site that all workers will have to wear a mask (provided by the company) It will be mandatory to wear masks.

Mr Jones was told that social distancing measures will be observed in the car park as workers make their way towards the gates. Before entering the site, there will be medical assessments for workers. Workers will be temperature scanned by a thermal imaging camera . Any individual exhibiting elevated body temperatures will be prevented from entering the facility and asked to go and seek medical advice or complete a COVID19 test.

Workers will be required to declare their fitness to work daily. There will be a fitness to work survey which will involve answering 3 questions. An online process is available to certify their fitness to work in the first instance and this should be completed in the morning before they start work.

Social distancing measures are in place. In some instances, face shields or safety glasses maybe required to supplement social distancing- additional PPE will be provided to workers dependent on the area and specific role they are working in.

A supervisor or team leader will explain to workers where they will work for the day and provide the levels of PPE required for that role.

The Manager stressed to Mr Jones how important it is that workers know that they are coming back to a safe space.

Mr Jones has also been speaking to the Unite union who have said that the measures being adopted by Ford BEP more than meet the requirements of Unite the Union and TUC. Their Convenor and shop stewards at the factory have been actively involved over the last 7 weeks in ensuring that all of the precautions and protections being implemented at the plant under a Ford Global Strategy more than meet the standards required by UK and Welsh Government.