Most, if not all, automakers in the United States have already announced a temporary halt in production at their facilities because of the coronavirus. However, as this setup continues for the next few weeks, companies are channeling their efforts in developing other products that can help healthcare workers.
Among the companies whose facilities were converted into a production line for medical equipment is Ford.
Aside from the ventilators, respirators, and face shields the company are working on, it was also revealed to be testing a “wearable social-distancing device” for people still working in their facilities.
According to a report published by Bloomberg, the device comes in the form of a small wristband with the purpose of monitoring how close people are to one another. Once detected to be violating the social distancing recommendation of being at least 6 feet apart, the device will vibrate.
The pilot program is reportedly composed of a dozen factory employees at the Blue Oval’s Plymouth, Michigan facility and could mark the start of the manufacturer’s increased safety protocols. The company also said it is working closely with the United Auto Workers union to come up with measures that could help curb the spread of infection.
Ford will be providing its workers with masks and face shields, while also conducting a thermal scanning of employees upon entering its facilities. Thermal scanning is a preemptive measure to detect a fever. Additionally, employees will be required to complete a daily online survey on their health and record their close contacts.
The company is looking to reopen its factories next month, but no official date has been announced.