ŠKODA AUTO is enabling employees at its three Czech production sites to be tested for coronavirus free of charge and on a voluntary basis. So far, more than 1,000 members of staff have already taken advantage of this offer. With this series of tests, ŠKODA is taking yet another step to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection in the workplace.
After a 39-day halt in production to help contain the spread of Covid-19, ŠKODA AUTO resumed operations at its Czech plants on 27 April. In order to ensure the best-possible health protection, the car manufacturer, in coordination with its social partner KOVO, has introduced a comprehensive set of safety precautions containing more than 80 individual measures for all areas of the business. To this end, the ŠKODA AUTO workforce must wear a face mask or respirator at work, regularly disinfect their hands as well as work objects, and keep a safe distance from each other. When entering the factory premises, employees are also subjected to random body-temperature measurements.
In addition to the protective measures in production, the car manufacturer’s staff at the three Czech sites can be tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies free of charge. The company is thus taking a further step towards effectively combating the spread of the virus.
Bohdan Wojnar, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Human Resources, explained, “The Safe Production and Safe Office concept with its comprehensive hygiene guidelines and rules of conduct remains the basis for the best-possible health protection at ŠKODA’s sites. By providing access to rapid coronavirus tests on a voluntary basis, we are now helping with detecting potential infections earlier and more comprehensively, thus allowing us to react more quickly with the appropriate measures precisely where they are needed.”
Rapid antibody testing for SARS-CoV-2 does not detect the pathogen itself, but instead identifies if people have been infected. The tests are carried out at ŠKODA AUTO’s clinics in Mladá Boleslav and Kvasiny, and at the Klaudiánova Hospital in Mladá Boleslav. Subsequently they are evaluated by an experienced laboratory service provider.
Employees and temporary workers at the Kvasiny plant arriving from Poland will have to be tested. ŠKODA AUTO is therefore providing a daily capacity of up to 250 tests in Rychnov nad Kněžnou between 19 and 31 May for the staff members concerned, so they can return to their workplaces in the Kvasiny plant as planned. The tests are performed by nurses employed by the hospital in Rychnov nad Kněžnou and in Náchod. They are supported by the local fire brigade and by employees from the car manufacturer’s human resources department.
ŠKODA AUTO is cooperating with the Hradec Králové region, the town of Rychnov nad Kněžnou, its social partner KOVO and the Czech State Police in organising the series of tests. Kvasiny is located about 30 km from the Czech–Polish border and about 150 km from the Polish city of Wroclaw.