Working safely through COVID-19: James Cropper Plc | Cumbria LEP
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Working safely through COVID-19: James Cropper Plc

James Cropper Plc, Kendal James Cropper Plc, Kendal

One of South Lakeland’s biggest employers is doing everything it can to protect staff as it continues to work during the Coronavirus pandemic. James Cropper Plc, in Burneside, near Kendal, manufactures high-quality paper and highly advanced non-woven material products for a wide range of customers, including many in the packaging, medical, renewable energy and defence industries.

Chief executive Phil Wild said it was continuing to operate, while doing everything it could to protect the safety of staff, the community and customers.

Nearly all of its office staff are now working from home, including the sales and marketing, technical, finance and human resources teams.

Most of those still on site are directly involved in manufacturing and distributing products, along with its engineering team, which looks after the machines.

He said cleaners on site were only working in areas once people had vacated them, while canteen staff were wearing protective clothing, with the canteen operating as a cashless takeaway to reduce the risk of infection.

The company has 633 direct employees, of which 603 are normally based at Burneside.

“We work a shift system, so not everybody is on site at once," said Phil.

"Normally we have approximately 350 staff on site at any one time. This is down to about 150 at present, spread across the three different manufacturing units. Those who are working at the mill are observing social distancing by keeping at least two metres apart from each other and we are limiting the number of people who can be in the same room at any one time.”

Staff were being encouraged to regularly wash their hands and make use of 42 additional hand sanitising stations, disposable gloves and other cleaning materials. If people did need to work closer than two metres apart, they were provided with FFP3 masks with respirators.

The procedure for trucks making deliveries had been changed so interaction between drivers and staff was minimised, said Phil.

“We are following the advice from the Government and Public Health England so that if any member of staff or their family shows symptoms of coronavirus they go into self-isolation," he said.

“There is a daily meeting for directors and key managers to discuss measures to be taken in response to coronavirus. We are also monitoring the situation hour by hour and all staff are updated every day.”

He said James Cropper's products were important to a range of industries, with many firms relying on its paper for their packaging.

“We are a central component of their supply chain,” he said.

Some of the firm’s technical fibre products were used in the automotive and defence industries while some had medical applications, for example in the manufacture of defibrillators.

“We are confident we shall be able to meet all our customer orders," he said.

"It is important that James Cropper PLC is able to continue and come through fit and strong at the end of this.

"It is also important to support our very loyal customers, who are also having a tough time at the moment.

“People are proud to work for James Cropper and we are seeing a real determination to keep going and support each other and our customers. Everyone is just getting on with it and being very positive."

With thanks to In-Cumbria magazine.

 

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