Automotive Restart – IATF 16949® and Employee Safety

Automotive Restart - IATF 16949® and Employee Safety

Part 5: Automotive Restart: IATF 164949® and Employee Safety

The last of our Automotive Restart series looks at the biggest challenge – Employee Safety and how an organization plans for implementing a work environment that will minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  Making the safety and health of your employees a priority will ensure that you have the skilled workforce needed to help your business recover.

Much has been written about the requirements for social distancing, wearing proper PPE and individual hygiene.  These techniques have been implemented to minimize a person’s exposure to the virus.  The automotive supplier industry has challenges to address.  Given the work cell layouts, consecutive shift schedules, break schedules, and social gathering areas (such as smoking area, restrooms, locker rooms, cafeterias); social distancing may be a difficult issue.  Also, consider the lack of PPE and sanitation chemicals in the general marketplace.  These issues will need to be the top priority of the restart, from both a safety and a liability standpoint.  Implementing policies and ensuring enforcement of those policies will be a very important activity.

Also, consider the visitors you will have at your site (truck drivers, material stockers, vendor representatives, auditors, customers).  What are the policies for your organization’s visitors and how will those policies be enforced?

Developing Procedures and Policies

Interested parties (regulatory entities, OEMs, large tier one suppliers) have been developing procedures and policies to help ensure employee safety, such as:

  1. State developed employee safety and health requirements (reference State of Ohio responsible restart procedures.)
  2. Large Tier one developed procedures shared through the industry (reference Lear “Safe Work Playbook 2nd edition.)
  3. OEM consideration and feedback (reference Automotive News April 27,2020 “Production Restart May Spur Liability Issues-Worker Safety is Key, Toyota Executive Says”)

Consider the following ISO 9001 and IATF 16949 requirements, as well as risk mitigation and management, when thinking about employee safety and organizational policies:

  1. ISO 9001 7.1.4-Environment requirements include hygiene
  2. IATF section corporate responsibilities and policies need to be defined and employees need to be aware
  3. ISO 9001 5.3-defining organizational responsibility for the newly revised safety and work policies
  4. Consider an organizational metric or KPI based upon the newly implemented or revised work rules to measure compliance and work on limiting liabilities based upon non-compliance to the rules.

Further Resources

CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses & Employers

OSHA 3990 Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

AIAG offers a free webinar on “Operational Restart Readiness for the Automotive Supply Chain.” The 45-minute recording addresses key manufacturing topics to consider for resuming operations after a partial or complete shutdown. Also available is their free Automotive Operational Restart Readiness Checklist.

Our simpleQuE team has assembled a list of resources that covers Business Continuity, Health, Safety, Tools and Checklists.  We hope these resources and articles have provided some value to your organization as the automotive restart moves forward. 

Understand Your Options

MAQMSR vs IATF 16949®

Consulting Services For ISO, IATF, AS, and more

Automotive Restart: The Road To Recovery Series

SimpleQuE strives to be an informational source that provides value to our customers by examining some of the challenges identified by the automotive industries and provide insight into the IATF 16949® requirements to help your organization maintain compliance during this unusual and complex time. 

Full Automotive Restart Five-Part Series Links:

We Can Help: IATF 16949® Experts a Click Away

If you’re searching for an IATF 16949:2016 consultant, our team at simpleQuE is well-positioned to support your IATF 16949® and MAQMSR consulting (Minimum Automotive Quality Management System Requirements), certification, maintenance, training and internal auditing needs. Our consultants are qualified, certified, and are experts on the automotive standards, customer-specific requirements, and AIAG or VDA core tools. In addition, many are current or former 3rd party auditors who bring valuable insight because of the knowledge gained from auditing for certification bodies.

SimpleQuE also offers a full line-up of IATF 16949 training courses which includes AIAG and VDA Core Tools, Root Cause Analysis and Problem Solving, Requirements and Implementation.  With IATF® also putting a major focus on internal auditor competency, it is essential to have IATF 16949® Internal Auditor Training. Our IATF 16949® auditor training utilizes the process audit approach. Contact Our IATF® consultants to learn more about the customized services offered to match your certification and training needs.

Obtaining and maintaining IATF 16949®, and meeting all of the related Customer Specific Requirements (CSRs), is difficult, which is why we’ve created free IATF 16949® tools, checklists and resources for your use

This series of articles was written Robert (Bob) Dornhecker, a simpleQuE consultant who specializes in ISO 9001 and IATF 16949® quality system development, auditing and training. He also performs third-party audits for Certification Bodies. With over 35 years of combined experience in auditing, manufacturing and certification, Bob has an extensive quality background.  Additionally, he has taught and facilitated many quality-related training classes for clients and has provided support to companies securing their own ISO/Quality Management Systems certifications.

SimpleQuE is not associated with the IATF®, IAOB, ANAB®, IAQG®, and is not a certification body. SimpleQuE is an independent consulting, training, and second-party auditing service provider that assists a company on a path for the company to obtain and maintain certification through accredited certification bodies.

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