On April 28, FCA reopened the Sevel plant, together with R&D activities and pre-series production of electric and hybrid models in Turin and Melfi.
The plant is actually dubbed the Atessa factory, and is operated by Sevel, a 50-50 joint venture between Fiat Chrysler and PSA. About 6,000 people are building daily some 1200 LCV’s, as we told already earlier in our columns, and it is Europe’s largest LCV assembly plant.
Of course, this reopening has been carefully prepared, and is the result of rigorous analysis and preparation carried out in collaboration with leading virologists and other experts and agreed with all trade unions.
Hans Knol ten Bensel
Playing it safe…
Before employees returned to work, the Company repeated cleaning and sanitization activities carried out at the plant when production was suspended on March 17.
Those activities covered 18 rest areas, 52 toilets, 29 changing rooms with more than 7,400 lockers, 2 medical rooms and 4 cafeterias.
Prior to the start of production, all Sevel employees were sent a link via WhatsApp and email to a web page explaining measures to be taken in each production area, together with video tutorials.
The measures include maintaining a minimum distance of one meter between individuals, instructions for washing hands with soap and water or sanitizing gel, instructions for refilling a cup or water bottle from public dispensers, new rules for the company cafeteria and correct management of meetings. Employees were also provided with instructions on how to recognize and respond to Covid-19 symptoms and preventive measures to be taken in an emergency.
Production and office areas have also been reconfigured based on specific health and safety requirements to enable the redistribution of workers and to increase distancing between those working in close proximity on the assembly line. In production areas, movement of personnel between areas has been limited to the minimum level possible and based on specific needs. Similar measures have been implemented in common areas, while the plant’s 85 offices have been fitted with protective barriers between employees or workstations have been relocated. Work breaks have been organized by area and phased throughout the course of each shift.
In the coming days, training on safety standards will be made available via e-learning, standard internal communications channels and by sector managers with the support of specialized medical personnel.
Everyone a personal safety kit…
Today, every employee at the Sevel plant was given a personal kit containing surgical masks and gloves (to be replenished daily), as well as a pair of safety glasses to be worn when cleaning their individual workstation. The number of masks supplied also means that those employees who commute via public transport will have an additional mask for their travel to and from work.
Finally, rigorous checks were also put into place at all entrances to the Sevel plant, as provided under the agreement signed by FCA and the trade unions. Everyone entering the premises on foot or by car, had their temperature checked by thermal camera or remote thermometer operated by first aid and medical staff wearing adequate protective equipment.
Further FCA plants opened…
The Atessa plant is not the only FCA factory opening its doors again. FCA resumed also activity at its Melfi plant in southern Italy for the final stages of the development of Jeep’s new hybrid car, with some 750 workers a day expected to take up work, and also at Turin’s Mirafiori plant some 250 workers will continue work on the new electric 500.
Hans Knol ten Bensel