One Manufacturer’s Back-to-Work Guide Shows Daunting Task Ahead

(Bloomberg) -- With factories shuttered and workers sitting at home as the Covid-19 virus spreads, a return to normal may seem distant. But auto-parts supplier Lear Corp. wants businesses to get ready for that day, so it’s sharing a free guide on steps and best practices to take when it’s safe to resume operations.

Lear’s 51-page “Safe Work Playbook” outlines protocols ranging from advanced social-distancing practices to on-site health screening of workers, visitors and contractors. It offers advice on setting up a “pandemic prevention team” to coordinate stricter operations and virus responses across a business.

Lear also recommends that plants and work sites be 100% disinfected and that training programs be set up for workers. The guidance is based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

“This has been a difficult time for everyone, and reestablishing a workplace where employees feel comfortable performing their jobs safely is a multi-faceted challenge,” Lear Chief Executive Officer Ray Scott wrote in the manual’s cover letter. “It is our hope that by sharing this resource we can help other organizations accomplish the same goals.”

Several of the auto companies to which Lear supplies seats and electronics systems have announced plans to resume production, only to then announce delays. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said Monday it intends to progressively restart manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Canada beginning May 4. The company said previously that its North American plants would be closed through at least April 14.

Lear isn’t claiming to know all the answers in today’s fast-changing situation. That’s one reason behind one of the first things readers will see, front-and-center on Page 2 of its playbook: a legal disclaimer.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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