April 30, 2020

RV Industry Prepares To Reopen With COVID-19 Safety Measures In Place For Employees

Original story from   WVPE-FM

Article origination WVPE-FM
FILE PHOTO: Justin Hicks/IPB News

FILE PHOTO: Justin Hicks/IPB News

The RV industry in northern Indiana is preparing to reopen in early May. Manufacturers and dealers are brainstorming ways to keep employees safe as the coronavirus crisis continues.

The RV Industry Association and the RV Indiana Council recently sent a letter to Gov. Eric Holcomb outlining recommended safety measures for companies when reopening production lines.

Some of those include hand sanitizer stations, temperature checks before employees enter the building, and plastic separators between workstations. Other strategies mentioned are providing PPE for all employees, disinfecting work stations each day, and sanitizing tools.

Bruce Hopkins is the vice president of standards for RVIA and helped create the Workplace Safety Task Force. He says companies need to figure out which COVID-19 mitigation strategies work best for them before reopening.

“Everybody’s facilities are slightly different so there’s not a one size fits all remedy to bringing your workers back to work,” he says. "How do you mitigate, how do you set your people up to be as safe as possible and still be able to do their work?" 

Hopkins says most RV companies are planning to slowly start reopening on Monday, May 4th.

“They may not bring all of their lines back at full speed right away, they’re going to have to build up to it," he says. "It’s going to be difficult to flip the switch and then be back to where we were before.” 

Many RV manufacturers have been closed for more than a month since Governor Holcomb issued a Stay-At-Home order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Hopkins says RV’s could play a large role in helping people transition once the order is lifted.

“We feel the industry is positioned very well to help consumers that want to get out and enjoy some things," he says. "They can still be isolated, they can still be with their families, and they can still enjoy the outdoors.”

He says ultimately, the RV Industry will follow whatever guidelines come down from Holcomb and the CDC.

Holcomb is expected to announce his plan for reopening the economy during a press conference on Friday. 

Contact Annacaroline at acaruso@wvpe.org or follow her on Twitter at @AnnacarolineC16

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