Construction News

Tue June 02 2020

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JCB resumes low-level production... with precautions

13 May JCB plans to introduce thermal imaging cameras at its UK plants before the end of the month to screen employees with signs of a fever.

Shop floor workers have been issued with visors
Shop floor workers have been issued with visors

Thermal imaging cameras are among a raft of measures being introduced by the construction machinery manufacturer as it looks to resume operations.

JCB is this week re-starting a small amount of machinery production at five of its UK factories.

JCB production lines ground to a halt on 18th March 2020 and the vast majority of JCB’s 6,500 UK employees have been furloughed since April.

For this week’s restart, just 400 or so employees are returning and a package of safety measures has been rolled out to protect them from coronavirus exposure risk.

These include:

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  • temperature checks for every employee arriving for work
  • surgical masks issued to office and shop floor employees
  • visors for shop floor employees
  • widespread provision of hand sanitiser
  • clearly-marked walkways and a reduction in office desks to maximise social distancing
  • closure of canteen facilities and vending machines
  • suspension of car sharing schemes
  • lavatory hand dryers switch off and replaced by paper towels.

Those who can work from home will continue to do so, as per government guidelines. Those who need to go to the factories will be monitored by thermal imaging cameras by the end of the month, JCB said.

Face masks handed out on arrival
Face masks handed out on arrival

JCB chief executive Graeme Macdonald said: “Production has resumed at a very low level, mainly to satisfy demand for agricultural machinery. Ahead of this re-start, 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.”    

The Loadall division at JCB World HQ, Rocester, Staffordshire,  JCB Earthmovers and JCB Landpower in Cheadle, Staffordshire have resumed production along with  JCB Transmissions in Wrexham and JCB Cab Systems at Uttoxeter.

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