The past few weeks and the foreseeable future will no doubt change the way we live our lives forever. This change is essential for not only our health but the health of others around us. When the time comes and we see the eventual decline in the new cases of COVID-19 across both the UK and other countries across the world, we will all be changed, hopefully for the better.
Government enforcing a Lockdown on the UK on Monday 23rd March 2020 may have come has a shock for some people but the sooner we get used to this way of life, the better. It has been medically and scientifically proven in other countries such as China and Germany that once a Lockdown in enforced, it eventually does slowly decrease the number of registered cases of COVID-19 as peoples movements are restricted so they cannot spread it to others. In order for the Lockdown to be successful, people must listen and adhere to the Government rules of Self Isolation if symptomatic, Social Distancing when exercising once a day, and Shielding if you are within a particularly vulnerable part of society. We absolutely must adhere to these rules so that we are not overwhelming the resources of our brilliantly hardworking NHS workers.
Once discussions of a Lockdown were imminent, the UK were notified of key workers and which members of society would still be able to attend work during this Lockdown if they could. On Tuesday 24th March 2020, Watershed Packaging received clarification that because of our part in the supply chain of food and other key items such as household chemicals and healthcare, we are deemed as an essential business and can remain open.
Watershed Packaging print packaging for the food and drink industry, as well as companies within the household chemical and healthcare industries. This includes, Shrink Sleeves, Printed Labels, Flexible Packaging and Die Cut Lids. In an article on the BPIF (British Printing Industries Federation) website, it mentions how supermarkets are currently under increased pressure to ensure their stock remains filled throughout the country for consumers. This increases a demand in the supply chain for more food/drink/household chemicals to be produced, and thus more food/drink/household chemicals packaging is needed to be printed by Printing companies. Within the healthcare sector, there is an increasing demand for packaging for medicines in Pharmacies and Labels used as outer packaging for medicines and instruments within hospitals throughout the UK, again increasing a demand for this packaging to be printed by Printing companies.
Over the past few weeks, as a business we have been making various changes and taking precautions to ensure members of our staff who were at potential high risk or could easily work from home, could do so. This was quite a seamless move which put members of our team at ease as they knew they could still fulfil their daily tasks in their job roles at Watershed but could do so within the safety and comfort of their own homes.
Our office staff are working from home remotely and those that remain at both our sites in Leeds and Wales have been separated and segregated as much as possible. Those of which are also abiding by strict hygiene and strict Social Distancing measures to ensure they are also keeping safe whilst working.
In both our Office and Production facilities, prior to the Pandemic of COVID-19 we ensured we had cleaning and disinfecting procedures to a high standard. We have now implemented new changes to our cleaning & disinfecting procedures in both Office and Production facilities to ensure even further that we are offering a safe environment for our staff to work in. Any staff suspected of being unwell are being sent home, and we have digital thermometers to test anyone before allowing them to return to work.
On Tuesday 24th March 2020, Michael Gove reiterated in an interview on BBC Breakfast, just how important UK Manufacturing is to the economy and how vital it is to keep the supply chain operating fully as long as possible. Watershed Packaging are working hard to ensure we maintain the supply of top-quality packaging materials to our customers. We intend to remain open for as long as possible and are currently operating on only just below full capacity. Only a handful of our suppliers have closed, but we have been able cover these closures as part of our contingency plan. In terms of the workforce at Watershed Packaging, we are taking all possible precautions to try and ensure we are able to keep working at full capacity.
We would like to thank you for your continued support of our part in this industry and thank our customers for their continued business and support.
Please remember to stay safe and save lives protecting the NHS by staying home if you are able to. This will not be forever and we must remain positive and do whatever we can to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Please read our official COVID-19 Company Statement here.
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