JCB resumes production at five UK sites

JCB has announced a partial re-starting of production at five of its UK factories and unveiled a range of safety measures in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

The manufacturer’s British production lines fell silent on March 18 and the vast majority of JCB’s 6,500 UK employees have been furloughed since April.

400 workers have now returned with ‘low levels’ of production resuming. New safety measures include temperature checks overseen by medical staff for employees arriving at work, the issuing of surgical masks, provision of visors for shop floor employees, and clearly marked walkways to maximise social distancing.

Thermal imaging cameras will be introduced at UK plants later this month while canteen facilities remain closed. Working from home will also be facilitated where possible.

JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald said, “Production has resumed at a very low level, mainly to satisfy demand for agricultural machinery. Ahead of this re-start, an exhaustive review was undertaken to enable us to introduce wide-ranging measures that will best protect our employees. The actions we have taken ensure that safe distancing between employees on-site can be achieved at all times.

“In circumstances where risks are greater, additional protective visors are being provided. The health and safety of our employees is absolutely paramount as we all adjust to this new normal and the measures we have put in place will ensure we all stay healthy and avoid risks.”

The Loadall division in Rocester, Staffordshire, JCB Earthmovers and JCB Landpower in Cheadle, JCB Transmissions in Wrexham and JCB Cab Systems at Uttoxeter have resumed production.