Beatson Clark: glass manufacturing during the pandemic

Lynn Sidebottom, Director of Sales and Marketing at UK-based glass manufacturer Beatson Clark, describes how the company has continued production throughout the COVID-19 outbreak

Lynn Sidebottom, Director of Sales and Marketing at Beatson Clark

The global pandemic has been a cataclysmic shock for businesses across the globe. Some have closed down almost entirely; others are continuing to operate with staff working from home. And some, like Beatson Clark in the UK, have maintained essential manufacturing throughout the UK lockdown.

The glass packaging industry plays a vital role in the supply chain for food, beverage and pharmaceuticals and as such has had to remain operational as an essential service during this challenging period. Without reliable packaging supply, these sectors would grind to a halt, and such disruption would make it harder for people to buy the things they need at a time of already increasing demand.

Of course, it has not been easy to keep our glassworks and all the subsidiary support departments open – sales people, accounts staff, recycling operatives, and all the other personnel who keep our business running smoothly. As well as introducing strict social distancing and hygiene measures in our factory, we have also brought in alternating shift patterns and remote working to ensure that everything that needs to be done can be done safely.

Everyone has had to get used to new circumstances and changed ways of working in the last few months, but in many ways the adaptations required in a high-tech manufacturing environment are greater than most.

Owing to the nature of the glass making process, social distancing has been a challenge, but new procedures have been put in place to protect our employees. With additional PPE, staggered start, finish and break times, adjusted personnel levels on job changes and additional hygiene measures, we have adapted to this challenge.

While we were always convinced of the need to keep the glassworks open and the production lines running, we always kept the safety and wellbeing of our employees at the forefront of our thinking. That’s why we took all the steps necessary to minimise the risks to our employees, and we continue to do so.

I’m delighted to say that all our colleagues have responded magnificently to the new challenges, and as a result we’ve been able to keep manufacturing and safeguard our business.

I’d like to use this opportunity to thank and pay tribute to all our employees – those in the factory and those working remotely – for their understanding and for their continuing dedication to the business. Our production lines are currently very busy and we hope they will continue to be so as we come out of the pandemic and look towards a brighter future.

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