Kurt Verlin
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How Toyota Canada Kept Workers Safe during Factory Reopening

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Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada reopens after COVID-19
Photo: Toyota

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada is one of the largest employers in southwestern Ontario, with about 8,500 employees working across its assembly plants in Cambridge and Woodstock. When the automaker finally resumed production at these plants, it took a lot of steps to ensure its workers were kept safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

To begin with, returning employees will have found their workplace to be different from when they left. Toyota installed spaced entryways and altered the interior of each of its facilities to help employees practice physical distancing. It has also been conducting comprehensive health surveys and using thermal cameras to take the temperature of anyone coming to work, encouraging employees to stay home if they show any COVID-19 symptoms.

“We spent a lot of time re-assessing our facilities and processes, and we’ve implemented many new policies and procedures so physical distancing can be maintained as much as possible,” said Frank Voss, President, TMMC. “In any places where physical distancing can’t be accomplished, we’ve installed physical barriers and required the use of additional personal protective equipment.”

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Additionally, Toyota has been supplying all of its employees with face masks for use at all times while at work, ensuring that face masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer are all readily available. It has enhanced its cleaning processes, with restrooms, break rooms, and other high-traffic areas getting extra attention.

According to the automaker, the protocols put in place at its largest employment hubs in Cambridge and Woodstock will “continue indefinitely.” It is also continually working with the federal, provincial, and municipal public health authorities to determine the best course of action with regard to promoting public health.

“The auto industry is a critical contributor to restoring the Canadian economy after the country-wide shutdown, and TMMC is proud to be playing a role in that recovery,” Voss said. “The time is right to re-start — and Toyota is ready.”

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