Production to resume
Audi plants in Europe commence the gradual process of returning to work.
Employees’ health is a priority as Audi plants in Europe look to resume production over the coming weeks.
22 April, 2020
Over the coming weeks, Audi will begin the gradual process of restarting production at its European facilities following the temporary suspension of production in March because of the Corona pandemic.
The health and safety of employees will be of paramount importance as the regulated restart in the worldwide Audi production network gets underway, with a comprehensive package of safety measures implemented as the facilities once again resume production. In this respect, Audi is following the guidelines of the Robert Koch Institute and the regulations of the health authorities of the respective country.
“We will manage the restart as a joint European act,” says Board of Management Member for Production Peter Kössler.
“The focus is on the employees, because they need a safe working environment. Audi teams of experts have adapted processes with a view to health protection in consultation with the specialist departments and works councils. I would like to thank all Audi employees and our partners around the world for their flexibility and joint efforts in times like these.”
“On the way back to the first phase after the production shutdown, health precautions for the protection of the employees have the highest priority,” says Chairman of the Works Council Peter Mosch.
“The restart will be accompanied by a comprehensive package of measures to ensure that the employees’ health is protected.”
These measures include clear rules on distance and hygiene, a modified shift system to avoid contact, and the obligation to use mouth and nose protection in areas where distances of 1.5 meters are not possible.
The health and safety of employees will be of paramount importance as the regulated restart in the worldwide Audi production network gets underway
The company has also created physical barriers at critical workplaces where two employees work simultaneously on the same item
The company has also created physical barriers at critical workplaces such as door pre-assembly, for example, where two employees work simultaneously on the same transport rack and stand directly opposite each other. Here, the employees themselves have developed a transparent barrier made of plastic sheeting.
The managers of production sections and groups, together with experts from occupational safety, health care, industrial engineering and the works council, have looked at each individual workplace, analysed it and developed suggestions for improvement. Only with the agreement of all those involved is a workplace considered ‘corona-ready’.
But aside from the physical working areas of employees, other ‘contact areas’ such as group spaces, factory gates and parking spaces have also come under scrutiny to determine how best to reduce contact points. Catering and factory restaurants have also been examined and new protocols developed to make sure that each employee is kept safe from contact and potential risk.
The employees will be informed in writing about these measures in advance and will receive comprehensive safety instructions from their line managers when they restart their work, as well as regular updates via internal online media and through numerous information notices at the plants.
Vehicle production at the Audi sites will be gradually ramped up from the end of April onwards according to a fixed plan. Engine production in Győr has already begun gradually ramping up production from this week and for those employees at the factories in Germany who will only be able to resume their work fully in later phases of the restart, short-time working regulations will continue to apply until then.
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