Fiat Chrysler unveils safety plan as Metro Detroit auto plants prepare to reopen

Automaker expected to restart next week

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – Fiat Chrysler is gearing up to reopen its North American plants after they were shuttered for weeks due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

Production is expected to start next week. The automaker is implementing a comprehensive program to make sure all employees are safe and healthy.

Inside the FCA’s Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, the coronavirus-related changes are everywhere. Shields have been installed -- some of which actually move with the line to protect workers.

Nearly 17,000 work stations were analyzed throughout the company, and more than 4,700 of them needed to be redesigned for modified. Employees also chipped in with suggestions.

On top of the physical changes, there will also be staggered start times and increased lunch and break times for social distancing.

Thermal imaging cameras have been installed to verify temperatures that employees have self-reported. Everyone must wear masks and safety glasses at all times.

FCA officials said every square inch of the auto plants have been cleaned and disinfected in preparation for next week’s restart.

About the Authors:

Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.