Honda said it plans to start reopening its U.S. plants on a staggered basis this week. Some employees have already returned.

Honda has unveiled plans for resuming automobile, engine and transmission production at its plants in the U.S. and Canada this week.

Salaried and support associates who have been on furlough from Honda operations in the U.S. began returning late last week, depending on location. Honda will continue to maximize opportunities for associates to work remotely, while practicing social distancing for associates performing essential roles that require them to work at Honda facilities, the company said.

In resuming production, which was suspended March 23, Honda plans to stagger the start-up at each plant, with most plants using the first day to ensure that front-line leaders are trained on new procedures and activities related to COVID-19 prevention.

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Prior to resuming production, associates will learn about the new safety measures and re-train on work processes after the period of suspended production.

When Honda employees return to work, they will spend their first day learning the new protocols for assuring they aren’t subjected to the coronavirus.

Honda said while the specific measures and policies will vary based on company and location, Honda is focused on the health and safety of associates.  This includes initiatives intended to protect health and safety and to achieve social distancing.

Each Honda plant in the U.S. and Canada is adjusting processes and workstations to achieve social distancing on the production line to the extent possible.

New health and safety measures will include temperature scanning – all Honda associates, suppliers, contractors and visitors will undergo a temperature scan and will not be allowed inside Honda facilities with a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

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In addition, Honda is requiring the use of masks or cloth face coverings at all times inside all buildings except when eating or drinking. Honda plants and offices will provide one new mask per day for every associate. It also will require associates to wear face shields in certain areas of the manufacturing plants as an added precaution.

Honda has increased cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing activities throughout its operations, along with providing cleaning supplies in common areas for use by associates.

Honda is one of the biggest manufacturers of cars, trucks and sport-utility vehicles in the U.S.

Each plant will stagger shift start times to reduce the amount of people entering and leaving plants at one time and make changes to seating arrangements in cafeterias and made additional rooms available for lunch.

Common areas such as restrooms and locker rooms will limit capacity to maximize social distance and all facilities have increased signage to remind associates of social distancing requirements, CDC guidelines for good hygiene and other helpful safety and health information.

(Honda powers up with improved Civic Type R.)

Honda said as the unprecedented economic impact of the fast-changing COVID-19 pandemic continues, Honda has continued to evaluate business conditions and make necessary adjustments to its production and business operations in North America.

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