Boeing to Restart Aircraft Production Near Seattle Next Week
Boeing today announced that it will resume all commercial-airplane production operations at its Puget Sound-region facilities, beginning the week of April 20, implementing a phased approach. The major aircraft manufacturer temporarily shut down its facilities last month amid the escalating COVID-19 pandemic, impacting over 70,000 employees.
As CNBC pointed out, the closure was intended to allow the company to develop and institute new health-and-safety protocols to protect its workforce against coronavirus transmission. Adhering to the guidance of state and federal health authorities, Boeing has now implemented extra precautions and instituted comprehensive procedures at all of its sites to help prevent the possible spread of contagion.
“The health and safety of our employees, their families and communities is our shared priority,” Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and senior executive in the Pacific Northwest, said in a statement. “This phased approach ensures we have a reliable supply base, our personal protective equipment is readily available and we have all of the necessary safety measures in place to resume essential work for our customers.”
Approximately 27,000 Boeing workers in the Puget Sound area will return to production of its 747, 767, 777 and 787 models, supporting “critical global transportation infrastructure, cargo services, and national defense and security missions.” The 737 program will also resume its efforts to restart production of the 737 MAX.
Puget Sound employees on the 737, 747, 767 and 777 programs will be welcomed back as early as third shift on Monday, April 20, with most returning to work by April 21. Those working on the 787 program will return as soon as third shift on April 23, with most returning to work by April 24.
New company protocols at its re-opened plants reinforce enhanced cleaning protocols, employee health considerations and physical distancing measures.
These practices include:
—Staggering shift start-times in order to reduce the flow of employees arriving and departing at any given time.
—Visual guides to create physical distance, such as prominent signage and floor markings.
—Washington-state sites will require face coverings for employees. They are strongly encouraged to bring in their own procedural mask or face covering, and those without their owns masks will be provided one.
—Required personal protective equipment (PPE) will be issued to those employees working in areas where physical distancing measures cannot be adequately maintained for an extended period.
—Employees are requested to perform self-health checks before coming to work and to stay at home if they are ill.
—Employee wellness checks are being conducted at the beginning of every shift, as well as voluntary temperature screenings at many manufacturing locations.
—Contact-tracing will be conducted when an employee tests positive for COVID-19 to reduce the risk to teammates.
—Transportation arrangements and layouts of common areas are being adjusted for physical distancing.
—Hand-washing stations in high-traffic areas and additional cleaning supplies are being made readily available.
—Employees who can effectively telecommute will continue to do so and virtual meetings will continue to be conducted.
For more information, visit boeing.com.
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