As the Covid-19 pandemic sparked unprecedented global demand and competition for personal protective equipment (PPE), a Denbighshire-based protective equipment specialist has leveraged its international supply chains to ensure Wales has access to sources of essential equipment.
Established in 2005, Workplace Worksafe is a major UK supplier of workplace PPE and protective workwear. As one of the largest independent distributors in the UK, the company typically sells more than 250,000 products to customers operating in a range of sectors across the country and Europe.
Responding to a call issued by Life Sciences Hub Wales for industry support in Wales’ battle against the virus, PPE experts at Workplace Worksafe utilised their relationships with an international network of PPE and protective clothing manufacturers to establish a pipeline of productive equipment, including masks, scrubs and fitment tests, into the country.
The Covid-19 emergency has seen businesses across Wales rally to ensure NHS Wales and frontline services can access PPE equipment that will protect those working to save lives and serve their communities. To date, partnering with Life Sciences Hub Wales has enabled Workplace Worksafe to supply over 27,120 pieces of equipment into NHS Wales via the NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership.
Cari-Anne Quinn, CEO of Life Sciences Hub Wales, said: “Our call out to Welsh industry generated a phenomenal response from businesses operating in a range of sectors across the country.
“Workplace Worksafe are a fantastic example of how Wales has been able to create partnerships that unlock specialist expertise and facilitate collaboration that results in new supply chains into NHS Wales. Our work with NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership has enabled us to secure safe and certified products that will play a vital role in protecting both patients, and those working on the frontline of our health and social care sectors.”
The achievements of the Workplace Worksafe team goes beyond the ability to source PPE. Their expertise and experience alongside partners at Life Sciences Hub Wales has enabled them to ensure that the equipment sourced meets the standards required for use by NHS Wales.
PPE equipment, such as masks, can only protect an individual if it fits correctly, forming a secure seal when worn. For this reason, Workplace Worksafe also worked to secure FIT Test kits that help NHS Wales staff ensure that they find the type of mask that best fits and protects them.
In addition to producing and sourcing equipment for Wales’ healthcare and frontline services, Workplace Worksafe is also helping employers across Wales to access the PPE they need to keep their teams and customers safe.
Workplace-Worksafe’s managing director, Rhian Parry, said: “As a Welsh business, we are passionate about moving the production of PPE and other critical goods back to Wales. Our team in Ruthin have been working extended hours, seven days a week to secure supplies and we are proud that we have been able to help with sourcing much-needed resources for healthcare teams across the country.
“Working with Life Science Hub Wales is allowing us to ensure that the equipment, that our teams have worked tirelessly to source and create, goes directly to where NHS Wales needs it the most. That work isn’t over as we continue to secure regular shipments of PPE for NHS Wales, with new containers arriving each month.”
Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, Lee Waters said: “Welsh businesses continue to play an absolutely crucial role in helping us provide the vital PPE supplies our healthcare workers need.
“Suppliers like Workplace Worksafe have really risen to the challenge posed by this pandemic and are key in ensuring we have a long-term supply of important items.
“I would like to thank them, and the Life Sciences Hub, for all that they’re doing as we continue to deal with coronavirus.”