A dozen workers from Ford Motor Co., an American multinational automaker, have been reportedly experimenting with wearable social-distancing devices. The company is planning to deploy these wearable devices once it reopens the manufacturing plants that have been temporarily closed due to coronavirus pandemic.

According to Kelli Felker, Ford’s spokesperson, a group of volunteers at a factory of the company in Plymouth, Michigan have been deploying wristbands that vibrate when an employee comes within 6 ft. of another employee. Through this initiative, the company will enable workers to keep an appropriate distance from one another to follow the health experts’ recommendations and mitigate the risks of coronavirus transmission.

The recent experimentation of wearable social-distancing devices can be considered as a part of the safety protocols that the company will deploy after the factory reopens and resumes its production. It is planning to reopen the factories as early as May after the coronavirus shutdown that will have lasted for roughly six weeks.

Upon the reopening of the manufacturing factories, the company will subject all the workers who enter the facility to a thermal-imaging scan to detect their temperatures and check if they have a fever. It will also provide various medical supplies such as masks and plastic face shields to the staff.

Ford is planning these coronavirus control measures in partnership with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union. Felker also stated that they are working closely to unveil ways to keep the employees safe while at work. The company has also been piloting these new safety protocols at factories where they are currently producing respirators and ventilators to assist the medical professionals in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Various policies, such as mandating workers to complete a daily online routine survey regarding their health as well as those they are in contact with, are expected to be introduced once the traditional auto factories of the company reopened.

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