Earlier today, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) signed an agreement with trade unions FIM-CISL, UILM-UIL, FISMIC, UGLM, AQCFR, and FIOM-CGIL which establishes a comprehensive series of measures at company sites in Italy to ensure maximum protection of the health of workers when it restarts production activities suspended due to the COVID-19 (or Coronavirus) crisis. The same rigorous measures will be applied to all external personnel entering FCA sites. These measures will be jointly monitored by both the company and the unions.
Pietro Gorlier, COO for FCA’s EMEA Region said: “The health and safety of our workers is the number one priority for FCA. Beginning with the implementation of targeted safety measures at the very early stages of the pandemic, we have worked with medical experts and unions, whose collaboration I greatly appreciate, to reinforce those measures with the use of advanced prevention tools and a significant commitment to training for employees. Naturally, the effective functioning of our industrial activities is fundamental to our company – as demonstrated by our €5 billion, a three-year investment plan for Italy – but we will always put the safety of our workers first.”
The guidelines established in today’s agreement are focused on the rigorous implementation of government directives aimed at combating the spread of the COVID-19 virus and application of best practices implemented by the Group at its sites around the world. Their adequacy and effectiveness have also been validated by leading Italian virologists, including Professor Roberto Burioni of Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele in Milan, who are specialized in the analysis of preventive measures to combat this global pandemic.
In particular, in addition to the cleaning and sanitizing activities carried out at all plants and offices at the outbreak of the pandemic – activities which will be repeated before the return to production — FCA will also put into place a range of follow-up actions, including equipping all work and rest areas, toilets and changing rooms with sanitizers and disinfectant materials for all needs (sanitizing gel, antibacterial soap, surface cleaning kits, etc.).
The agreement also provides for the distribution of an information pack detailing the measures adopted in each area, which will be sent to all workers via WhatsApp and e-mail prior to the restart of production. Those measures include maintaining a minimum distance between each person of one meter, instructions for washing hands with soap and water or sanitizing gel, instructions for refilling a cup or water bottle from distributors, measures to be adopted at company restaurants, correct use of elevators and correct management of meetings.
Employees will also be provided with instructions on how to recognize and respond to COVID-19 symptoms and preventive measures to be implemented in emergency situations. Once operating activities have recommenced, training will be made available via e-learning, standard internal communications channels and activities conducted by sector managers with the support of specialized medical personnel. Digital tools will also be used to instruct employees on social distancing in the workplace.
The company will also provide each worker a personal kit which, with the exception of any specific additional requirements, will include two surgical masks and a new pair of gloves for each working day, and a new pair of safety glasses each month that must be used when a worker is cleaning their individual workstation. This required activity will be in addition to cleaning of common areas several times per day by specialized personnel.
The agreement also calls for rigorous checks at entrances to all company sites, in addition to specific access protocols designed to protect individual safety and privacy. Anyone entering company premises on foot or by car will have their body temperature checked via a thermal camera or remote thermometers operated by specialized medical personnel wearing adequate protective equipment. For anyone registering a temperature above the permitted threshold, the measures set out in government directives will be applied.
Workplace organization will also be reconfigured based on specific health and operational requirements. To limit the presence of employees in offices, remote working will continue to be used, where compatible with each department’s requirements. In production areas, the movement of personnel between areas will be based on specific needs and limited to the minimum level possible. Workstations will be reconfigured as appropriate and protective barriers deployed to ensure that a minimum distance of one meter is maintained. Similar measures will be implemented in common areas. Work breaks will be organized by area and phased throughout the course of each shift. Company restaurants will extend opening hours and workers will also be able to take their meal at the end of their shift.
Source: FCA EMEA