Thursday, 16 April 2020

Boeing to restart commercial aircraft production in Puget Sound

The US aircraft Boeing stands accused of putting its staff at enhanced risk of contracting coronavirus as it bows to President Trumps demands to get started on commercial aircraft production again in Puget Sound.

"The health and safety of our employees, their families and communities is our shared priority," said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and senior executive in the Pacific Northwest. 

The company has said it will phase in the start of production, beginning Monday, April 20th for those working on 737, 747, 767 and 777.  Those working on the 787 will start going back into work from April 23rd.

"This phased approach ensures we have a reliable supply base, our personal protective equipment is readily available and we have all of the necessary safety measures in place to resume essential work for our customers." Deal said. 

Photo Boeing
Approximately 27,000 Boeing staff will be going back to work, with normal disciplinary rules in place and new practices for enhanced cleaning, employee health and physical distancing in partnership with employees, which includes: 

Staggered shift start times to reduce the flow of employees arriving and departing work
Visual controls such as floor markings and signage to create physical distance
Face coverings will be a requirement for employees at Boeing sites in Washington. Employees are strongly encouraged to bring in their own procedural mask or face covering; those who do not have a mask available will be provided with one.
Providing required personal protective equipment to employees working in areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained for an extended period
Asking employees to perform self-health checks before coming to work and to stay home if they are ill
Employee wellness checks at the beginning of every shift and voluntary temperature screening at many manufacturing locations
Contact tracing when an employee tests positive for COVID-19 to reduce risk to teammates
Continued virtual meetings and employees who can work from home will continue to do
Transportation and common areas adjusted for physical distancing
Hand-washing stations in high-traffic areas and additional cleaning supplies available
So far around 140 Boeing employees have tested positive for coronavirus COVID-19 and local sources indicate two deaths.

"It is a disastrous move of public health in the area"  one health professional from Seattle said on social media.  "They are playing with our lives." A Boeing worker on the 777 line said on Thursday as the news broke. 

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