Safe and phased return to work

Padiham Glass has restarted manufacture after temporarily suspending its operations in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Padiham was among the vast majority of industry manufacturers to have closed its doors at the end of March, after the government announced its plans to implement a lockdown.

In response to the government’s subsequent clarification of its position, and employee training and the introduction of strict controls, the trade IGU manufacturer began limited manufacture of units on April 20.

John Spiby, CEO of Padiham Glass, said the company was now increasing its manufacturing capability as part of a highly structured and phased return to work.

“We’ve followed Government guidance throughout and will continue to do so in order to everything we can to safeguard the welfare of our employees and our customers,” he said.

“What is clear, however, is that Covid-19 is going to be with us for the foreseeable future, so it is vital that we adapt to new ways of working, efficiently, effectively and, above all, safely.

“We came back to work with a small team on April 20, putting in place new employee training and controls. We will now build our capacity in line with customer demand, through a safe and phased restart and expansion of our operations.

“This approach has allowed us to develop a series of new processes and safeguards, trial them and to be in a position to move forward in a controlled and safe manner and meet demand for IGU supply.”

The company introduced an employee training programme and assessment, which all staff must take and pass, before being allowed back to work.

This includes developing an understanding of how Covid-19 spreads, its symptoms, and how to mitigate the risk of catching it through the use of PPE, social distancing and hand and respiratory hygiene.

Padiham Glass, which was acquired by Emplas in May 2018, has capacity to supply more than 15,000 IGU units per week from its 45,000ft2 Lancashire manufacturing facility. This includes Saint Gobain’s Planitherm range.

“We currently have a handful of the team back on site in what at 45,000ft2 is a very large manufacturing site,” John said. “Many of our processes are automated, so we’re fortunate in that we have space and we can comfortably comply with social distancing requirements.”