A SADDLEWORTH workforce is at the forefront of the supply chain providing vital cleaning equipment to the NHS as its staff work to help combat the spread of coronavirus.
In March, Robert Scott of Greenfield made and despatched a record-breaking two million mops to the healthcare sector.
The company, based at Oak View Mills and Heybottom Mill plus four other Greater Manchester locations including Mossley, has been receiving urgently needed orders such as 600,000 dishcloths, which were manufactured and sent to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, a training hospital recently turned into an emergency coronavirus treatment centre.
“It is the most challenging time the company has ever known simply because it is an ever-changing picture,” said Daniel Scott, operations director of the family business founded in 1925, “but I am glad we are able to do what we’re doing.
“Business for us has undoubtedly reduced but we also have an obligation to our customers, suppliers, employees, the community and the nation to keep going where we’re needed.
“Our role has been deemed as an essential service by the UK government and it’s crucial for us to continue to ensure we can support frontline janitorial staff.
“We produce and supply goods that are being used to help fight the spread of this disease. We supply goods that help clean the food factories, supermarkets, care homes and, in a time where clean households are crucial to controlling the spread, we supply retailers that provide the cloths to clean your homes. We’re also a key supplier to the NHS.
“I am proud we have the workforce we have got and we’re doing everything we can to get the products out to the NHS and the frontline staff that are in need,” Daniel explained.
Robert Scott employs 225 staff across its six sites, including more than 100 in Greenfield.
“The healthcare sector is usually a big part of our business and it has understandably increased in recent weeks,” added Daniel.
“We’ve been able to respond to the increase in demand as products that would usually be supplied to the hospitality and catering industries, which aren’t currently needed, have been redistributed to fulfil orders quickly and effectively.
“We’ve converted machinery to safely increase what we can manufacture,and staff are doing an amazing job keeping things going.
“Everyone has had to adapt to the social distancing measures. Department managers and supervisors are all aware of what needs to be done.
“We’re following the latest guidance from Public Health England to make our workplace as safe as possible by maintaining the highest hygiene standards.
“We’ve introduced split workstations, as well as staggered break times. Where possible, staff are also working from home.
“It’s a challenging time for us. To protect jobs, we’ve made the conscientious decision to use the government’s Job Retention Scheme for some of our team. This will be closely monitored so we can bring people back to work as soon as we’re able to.”
And from a company whose watchword is cleanliness what advice can Scott’s offer in these trying times.
“The biggest thing is to avoid cross contamination,” said Daniel. “When you use a cloth think where you used it previously and don’t carry it round the house. Put simply: if you touch it, you need to clean it.”
Tracy Kirkpatrick, regional sales manager, said: “Increase cleaning the common touch points which can experience high volumes of human interaction, therefore easily transmitting and spreading viruses.
“These touchpoints often include handrails, door handles, lifts and escalators, push plates, sinks, tables, vending machines and more.”
Kelly Brierley, key account manager, added: “Always clean from top to bottom – so high level to work surfaces to floors. Always clean starting from the cleanest to dirtiest so not to contaminate clean areas.
“And always clean from the back of the room to the front of the room when cleaning floors. Make any doors the barrier at which you change your mop head and mop water to help prevent cross contamination.”
• For information on products and cleaning methods to help combat the Coronavirus, contact 01457 819400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org