Employees arriving at work at the GE Appliances plant in LaFayette, Georgia, have negotiated long lines as the company began using a temperature screen check on workers before they enter the factory.
At the Gestamp production plants which supply parts for Volkswagen in Chattanooga, its workers will have social distancing in place on the shop floor to keep employees from getting too close to one another when the facilities restart operations after a shut down.
And new directives at Walmart call for temperature checks and basic health screening questions of employees. The retailing giant also is starting to install so-called sneeze guards at checkout locations and pharmacies.
As the coronavirus lingers, businesses which remain open are taking more steps to protect their employees, some of which have expressed concerns about their future health.
At the giant GE Appliances plant in LaFayette, everyone must go through temperature screening before they enter the factory, said company spokeswoman MarySusan Abell on Tuesday.
"The temperature measurement is made with a no-touch thermal imaging scanner and takes less than 6 seconds per person," she said. "This is a new process so everyone gains a little more understanding each day."
While waiting in line, managers are reminding employees to widen the gap between each other where necessary, Abell said.
At the Gestamp plants, which make stamped parts for VW Chattanooga, the automotive parts maker had started some enhanced safety efforts before the recent shut down due to the automaker's temporary closure. Susana Tello, who directs North American communications for the supplier, said employees hopefully come back to work in mid-April will be spread out with no two people allowed within six feet of one another.
"It's like every supermarket, you have marks on the floor," she said.
Also, there will be reminders about avoiding meetings of groups of people, Tello said, as well as constant cleaning.
"We'll increase the protocol when we get back," she said. "We want to make sure at Gestamp it's not a place to get infected."
Walmart continues to follow and communicate Centers for Disease Control recommended guidance on behaviors like washing hands, social distancing and the cleaning of surfaces, said John Furner, CEO of Walmart U.S., and Kathryn McLay, CEO of Sam's Club.
On Tuesday, the Walmart leaders announced the start of the temperature checks of employees who report to work.
"We are in the process of sending infrared thermometers to all locations, which could take up to three weeks," the CEOs said.
Also, while the CDC and other health officials do not recommend masks or gloves for healthy people who don't ordinarily use them for their jobs, Walmart will make them available as supplies permit for associates who want to wear them. The masks are to arrive in one to two weeks.
In addition, Walmart is offering so-called "6-20-100 guidance" for workers, the company said.
"We're asking them to remember three numbers: 6, 20 and 100. Six feet is the amount of space people should keep from others, when possible, to maintain social distancing. Twenty seconds is the amount of time people should take to wash their hands with soap and water. And 100 is the temperature that someone should stay home with," according to the company.
At the GE Appliances plant, the company also has adjusted work spaces to achieve six feet of social distancing, said Abell.
"Where that wasn't practicable, we installed dividers to protect employees or will provide additional supplies for employee protection," she said. "We also marked 6 foot lines on the floors in many places to give employees guidelines on social distancing. We are continuously improving the environment with enhanced cleaning measures to reduce risk of exposure."
In terms of individual employees, the company said it understands each has unique personal circumstances regarding child care and elder care, for example.
Company spokeswoman Allison Martin said Roper is encouraging those workers to contact officials to evaluate each case and find the best solution for each individual.
"As we face this unprecedented crisis together, we will continue to focus on the health and well-being of our employees, customers and owners," she said.
Contact Mike Pare at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.