How the Risks became an Opportunity for Palace Chemicals introducing Hand & Surface Sanitiser
Understanding the risks & opportunities which confront our business is at the cornerstone of the Quality, Environmental & Health & Safety Management systems Palace Chemicals Ltd has been accredited with and the challenges presented by Covid-19 were managed in a methodical, documented & controlled approach to ensure that whatever the positive & negative effects of the crisis may be, our response to dealing with them is planned, communicated, understood & acted upon by all management & staff involved.
In terms of risks presented by Covid-19, our first priority was to the health, safety & well-being of all our staff & site visitors, who were advised by all means of the necessary social distancing measures, such as pathway spacing, staggered breaks, increased hand sanitisation & the avoidance by 2 metres of any close contact with fellow employees. As the wider crisis deepened, it soon became necessary to furlough up to 70% of staff, which no doubt assisted with social distancing and eased the obvious financial risk to the business as the impact of the lock-down on our customers became all too apparent.
At that point in time, evidence of opportunities seemed thin on the ground, however one of the unique strengths of Palace Chemicals has always been its’ diverse capability as a manufacturer. As a business with a wide-ranging portfolio of manufactured products, we found ourselves still under increasingly high demand from key sectors throughout the lockdown, most notably for Surgical Spirit, a solvent-based product where we have supplied millions of units for over 25 years to some of the UK’s leading high street pharmacies.
Surgical Spirit is classed as highly flammable and manufacturing alcohol-based compositions of this type require a high degree of built-in plant health & safety control systems, essential for managing the hazards & risks associated with solvents of this type. These established assets have always been maintained and monitored within our Solvent packing plant & ensured the company had the standard of facilities needed to store, process & pack all products based on this category of solvent, which could now include Alcohol based sanitisers, in the form of Hand Gels & Hard Surface spray applied cleaners, both part of the key defence advised by the government enabling all the population to meet the necessary increased degree of hygiene controls now a part of everyday life.
Adhering strictly to guidance from the World Health Organisation, formulation were developed & tested by both our R&D function and an accredited microbiological testing laboratory to ensure the products we now offer have the appropriate degree of efficacy and skin compatibility, both essential requirements for this now daily hygienic practice to be conducted safely and with confidence by all end users.
Whilst there have been many examples of independent beverage producers and similar small-scale operators stepping up to meet this need, very few had an existing high-volume automated mixing & packing line readily available for supplying Alcohol based sanitisers in the industrial quantities now being called for, both for hand hygiene and hard surface cleaning as a Surface Sanitiser Spray.
This facility enabled Palace Chemicals Ltd to quickly supply in repeated full vehicle loads, the large distribution companies with the existing national networks needed to meet this demand & get this product to the market in volume with the speed of delivery needed.
As sanitising & hygiene control will now become a more prominent necessity for all our lifestyles in the defence against Covis-19, the manufacturing operation at Palace Chemicals Ltd will continue to play a significant role in meeting the needs of all major outlets for Alcohol Hand Gels and Spray applied Hard surface Sanitisers.
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