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Facility safeguards aim to keep teammates safe for the long haul

Multiple safety improvements combine to make Boeing sites a safe place within the community.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to shift and spread across the world, the company’s main focus remains unchanged: protecting the health and safety of teammates at every Boeing site.

The company’s efforts are multi-pronged and aim to provide a safer environment than most employees might encounter elsewhere – like grocery stores, restaurants and other gathering spots.

Regular cleaning takes place around Boeing South Carolina site, including café and dining areas. (Josh Drake photo)

“We believe we’ve put effective processes in place that enable our facilities to be as safe as or safer than their respective communities,” said Dr. Laura Cain, Boeing chief medical officer.

“We are modifying work areas and adjusting work patterns to allow for physical distancing, offering on-demand access to primary care physicians via secure web connections, quarantining anyone potentially exposed to the virus, and conducting contact tracing and much more,” she continued.

It all started with the cleaning. While factory operations at some sites were paused, more than 15 million square feet (1.4 million square meters) – or more than five times all the office space in New York’s 102-story Empire State Building – received enhanced cleaning. In addition, more than 1,500 restrooms received a deep cleaning.

Since June, the company has required face coverings at all U.S. sites, while employees at international locations continue to follow local guidance.

Production flight-test technician Traves Zielinski cleans tools prior to returning them to the tool chest in Mesa, Arizona. (Mike Goettings photo)

To remind employees of the ongoing need for vigilance and caution, more than 18,000 signs have been installed across the enterprise, more than half at the company’s largest site in Everett, Washington. Signs carry a variety of messages to serve different purposes, including instructions (example: requirements to enter a building), reminders (example: physical distancing) and positive reinforcement (example: we’ll get through this together).

In addition to modifying work areas, staggering shifts and resequencing work to allow for physical distancing, the company has installed nearly 600 hand-washing stations, 742 hand-sanitizing stations and currently has 56 thermal-check stations. Boeing has also packaged and shipped to employees more than 129,000 care kits consisting of two face coverings and one personal oral digital thermometer.

While the initial company response to the pandemic has been unprecedented in scale, employee feedback and innovations are helping Boeing learn faster and make improvements to how the company operates under these unique circumstances. For example, the COVID Innovations Response Team has implemented a number of innovations to increase ventilation, reduce touch points, and encourage social distancing and other improvements.

Boeing has installed nearly 600 hand-washing stations and 742 hand-sanitizing stations across the company. (Marian Lockhart photo)

Boeing also has teams ready to respond when an employee on site tests positive, including deep cleaning, conducting contact tracing and quarantining those who were in close contact with the ill employee and much more.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our employees during these unprecedented times,” said Stan Deal, Commercial Airplanes president and CEO. “They are the reason our facilities are as safe as they are. I thank them for their diligence and continued vigilance following our COVID-19 safeguards to protect themselves and their co-workers.

Boeing is committed to providing a clean environment, including more frequent cleaning of high-touch areas and common spaces. Here, custodians clean a factory conference room in Everett, Wash. (Mick Boroughs photo)

Boeing has set up 56 thermal-check stations like this one in Portland, Oregon. (Boeing photo)