General Motors talks safety protocols as plants ready to restart Monday

GM plans to restart production on Monday but with new rules in place to keep everyone safe. 

From the city that put the world on wheels, including emergency production of ventilators and personal protective equipment for the country's fight against coronavirus. 

Dr. Jeffrey Hess, the corporate medical director for General Motors is now working to make sure it's a safe reentry when workers come back to make cars, trucks and SUVs

"We realize how important this is," he said. "We know that our employees are relying on us our suppliers are relying on us, and the communities are relying on us, too. If we're spreading disease in our workplace, we're not helping the communities at all. this is vitally important what we're trying to do here. "

It is vitally important to the economy, too. Monday will mark the opening of the GM plants. The company is beginning with one shift at a time in each location that's starting back up: Toledo, Flint, Romulus, Lansing, Lake Orion, Saginaw and Bay City are just some of the facilities close to Detroit slowly revving back up completely and safely.  That means banking on masks even when they can't social distance. 

"Our entrance process what you will do, is, we social distance you as you walk into the place," Hess said. "We make sure you sanitize your hands; you will put a mask on right away. That we feel will help contain all those particles and droplets that come out of your mouth and your nose when you talk and breathe, and cough. Keep it in that mask so it's all self-contained in that mask and not getting out into the atmosphere. so other people can breathe it in or come in contact with it."

Safety glasses, temperatures and symptom checks at the door they are hoping will make for a smooth transition. when we say restart keep in mind some of the facilities never stopped. 

"We started out with the ventilator facility which is in Kokomo, Indiana, that has been making our ventilators. we have the mask facility in Warren, Michigan, that's been making the masks. We have some operations going on in Texas because we're getting the new truck line ready for production. And there has been about a thousand employees in that facility. 

"Plus, warehouses for parts have been operation. working with the CDC and the World Health Organization and the unions. It's a collaboration that's been in the works for weeks."


Safety is not a new concern for GM.

"Safety has always been important to general motors," Hess said. "This is not first time we're worried about safe. we've been worried about safety for a long time. we've been working on it consistently. We have been trying to make sure that our factories are safe, that we don't have accidents, that we don't hurt people. We are just taking that technology and moving into a new area which we have never really had to deal with, which is infectious disease. 

"We are trying to make sure that that also makes it safe for our employees in the workplace."

General Motors says that health centers will be opening up at all the major facilities to make sure doctors and nurses are there in case people need them.