Packaging firm helps construction company get back to work

A provider of supermarket packaging has designed and delivered 200 bespoke visors to help key construction workers stay safe during Covid-19.

Nottingham-based food packaging manufacturer, The Wilkins Group, was approached by Derby based Hodgkinson Builders shortly after the lockdown began to create visors which could be fitted to hard hats.

Ian Hodgkinson, director at the Pride Park-based construction firm was eager to keep his various building projects on course while protecting the welfare of his workers – and having tried in vain to source PPE by other means, he was delighted with the response from Wilkins.

He said: “Construction is one of those sectors that continued during lockdown, so we were thinking about ways in which we could protect our workforce. We’re often required to lift things in areas tighter than two metres, so we needed to continue to operate effectively on site while preventing the spread of the virus.

“I got the impression that a lot of companies were taking advantage of the chance to charge big money for simple but vital PPE equipment because the Covid pandemic made it possible, but The Wilkins Group were very different.”

Having spent a few days working with the Wilkins Group to develop something flexible but cost-effective, Hodgkinson said he was “well pleased” with the results.

He said: “The visors can be fitted to a variety of helmets without adaptation or amendment. They’re flexible, comfortable and durable, they comply with all health and safety requirements and they have saved us literally hundreds of pounds.

“We had a lot of important projects on when lockdown began and, thanks to the Wilkins team, we remain on course to hit our original target of 200 new houses in 2020.”

The new site-ready visor is built using a combination of polyester and cardboard with an antimicrobial varnish. The window is flexible but tough, with clear optics for all-day visibility with or without glasses; and the oversized straps have been designed to fit securely around any standard construction helmet.

Justin Wilkins, sales and marketing director at the Colwick-based The Wilkins Group, said: “As key workers, servicing various supermarkets with food packaging, we have faced similar challenges ourselves. Like Ian, we have had to remain productive but safe, so having designed, manufactured and issued bespoke visors to our own staff, we knew exactly what Ian needed.”

Having made an initial order for 200 visors, Hodgkinson fully expects that the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions will see his relationship with us extend well into the future. He said: “I like the Wilkins approach to business. They’re flexible, adaptable and open to ideas. The product is great and I really look forward to working with them again.”

Wilkins, whose firm has also been involved in the creation of new PPE visors for frontline medical staff at the NHS, added: “It was a pleasure to help. We have a very high-capacity infrastructure in place here at Wilkins, which would enable us to produce hundreds of thousands of visors per week if needed. But we remain at heart a family business, so we pride ourselves on being approachable and adaptable when a small-scale or one-off request like this comes through our door.”