Škoda to resume production
Škoda is reopening production at its three Czech sites next week after it suspended work on 18 March 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
As with its sister brands – Volkswagen, SEAT and Audi are also restarting operations – the carmaker has approved a set of comprehensive measures for all areas of the business; more than 80 mandatory precautions are being put into place to prevent staff from getting infected in the workplace when work restarts next Monday, 27 April.
Škoda Auto CEO Bernhard Maier said: “Now the time has come to start looking ahead with great optimism once more. Škoda dealerships are gradually reopening across Europe, and by successively resuming production, we are also taking the next important step in order to be able to internationally deliver vehicles to the markets again. I would like to thank all members of staff who have been working hard over the past few days and weeks to make the restart of production possible. The Škoda team is fully committed and eager to recommence their work.”
The new measures include requiring all employees to put on a face mask when entering the factory premises while each shift has been allocated with additional time to clean tools, telephones and keyboards as well as any materials and surfaces. Furthermore, all areas will be cleaned and disinfected even more frequently.
Škoda has also made some changes to daily operations in order to protect the workforce. These include adapting the way staff shuttles operate, and altering procedures at factory gates, reception points and in the canteens, as well as how working hours are recorded.
Other provisions have been made for staff in production to work in smaller, fixed teams. Briefings at shift changeover are to be as short as possible, and more breaktime areas have been made available in order to keep personal contact and the risk of infection to a minimum.
If possible, employees are also being encouraged to work from home.
Measures will gradually be eased in stages; the third phase will enable normal daily operations to resume, meaning any currently applicable restrictions on entering the factory premises, for example, for visitors, will be lifted.