The small group of volunteers at a Ford factory in Plymouth, Michigan, are trying out watch-like wearables that vibrate when employees come within six feet of each other, said Kelli Felker, a company spokeswoman. The aim is to keep workers from breaching the distance that health experts recommend to avoid spreading the coronavirus.

The social-distancing device could be part of a broader array of new safety protocols Ford deploys as it resumes production as early as next month after at least a roughly six-week shutdown. The automaker is also expected to subject all workers entering a facility to a thermal-imaging scan to detect a fever. And it will provide staff with masks and, in some cases, plastic face shields, Felker said. The company is devising the measures along with the United Auto Workers union.