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Ford of Britain Restarting Production on May 18

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diesel engines for the 2016 Ford Transit being built at Dagenham Diesel Center
A worker builds a diesel engine at the Dagenham Engine Plant
Photo: Ford

Ford of Britain is restarting production at its Dagenham Engine Plant and Bridgend Engine Plant on May 18. Ford’s United Kingdom relaunch comes two weeks after the successful relaunch of several key European plants and coincides with the resumption of North American manufacturing.

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With workers returning gradually to work at the Dagenham plant in Essex and Bridgend plant in South Wales, Ford continues to implement its new global standards for safety. These standards include requiring face masks for anyone in one of its facilities, mandatory body temperature checks upon entry, and a daily self-assessment of wellness to determine whether an employee is fit for work.

“As we return to work at our two engine plants in the U.K., our key priority is the implementation of Ford’s global standards on social distancing and strengthened health and safety protocols to safeguard the well-being of our workforce,” said Graham Hoare, chairman, Ford Motor Company of Britain.

Certain essential Ford of Britain employees have continued to work on-site since the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic, and non-production employees with special equipment needs have been increasingly heading back since May 4. Ford is still encouraging employees capable of working remotely to do so until further notice.

Dagenham still building supplies for NHS

Ford of Britain Restarting Production May 18
Photo: Ford

Though production will resume at the Dagenham Engine Plant proper on Monday, a separate on-site facility will continue to build vital equipment for the National Health Service. Ford took an empty warehouse on the plant’s estate to an ISO9001 accredited facility capable of building ventilator sub-assemblies. The conversion process, which would typically take a year to complete, was done in just three weeks to help meet extraordinary demand.

The facility, part of the VentilatorChallengeUK Consortium, will help deliver 15,000 Penlon Prima ES02 ventilators to the NHS. More than 650 volunteer employees work at 200 workstations across three shifts to produce the components for the ventilators. Team members also use HoloLens 2 virtual reality headsets to expedite and facilitate collaboration.

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Ford is also manufacturing its own face masks for U.K. employees to reduce the burden on the supply chain. This helps the NHS distribute more PPE to crucial frontline healthcare workers battling against COVID-19 and working daily to save lives.

“From building sub-assemblies for the VentilatorChallengeUK Consortium at Dagenham, to manufacturing face masks at our Dunton Campus, and from loaning in excess of 200 vehicles to more than 40 organizations including 10 National Health Service ambulance trusts, to those in our workforce engaged in supporting their communities in a wide range of actions, Ford employees have made a valuable contribution to this country’s fight against coronavirus,” added Hoare.