A chat with a mother leads to new face protection shields

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Facial protection against Covid-19

“Hi Mother, how are you?” Seems a simple enough way to start a phone call. But it was a call that started a new supply of personal protective equipment (PPE). That mother, a healthcare worker, explained how shortages of PPE were impacting the lives of healthcare professionals around the world in the fight against the corona virus. Her son, an engineer working for a global plastic pipes manufacturer asked his colleagues if they could help. That led to the manufacturer swapping some of its production of pipes for the construction industry to make high-quality face protection shields for (healthcare) workers. From April 2020, that company, Wavin, a global player in construction and infrastructure, will supply face protection shields from plastic normally used in the production of pipe systems and units for rainwater management. The company is keen to contribute to the global fight against the coronavirus. The company is expected to be able to deliver 10,000 pieces per day. The first 100,000 units have been donated to several hospitals in the Netherlands.

Developed within two weeks 

Claudia Goemans, Director Technology & Innovation at Wavin explained “The face shields have been developed in cooperation with healthcare professionals to ensure that our products meet the same standards. We recognize this is an urgent need, and thanks to everyone involved, the product was developed within just two weeks, without compromising on quality. Now, we are delighted to say we will make thousands of face shields available for businesses that need to protect workers such as dentists, physiotherapists, installation and maintenances workers, hairdressers, etc. Indeed, not only healthcare anymore

Facial protection against Covid-19

People who work in close proximity of others, can pick up the virus from the vicinity tiny drops of saliva reach their faces. Face shields are transparent screens that cover the face and help prevent infectious droplets from getting into the eyes, nose and mouth.  This Face Protection Shield is intended as an additional layer of protection, not as a replacement  for personal protection equipment such as face masks and/or goggles. They have been made available on a very short term as an urgent solution for various professionals. At the same time a formal certification process has been started. 

A contribution to healthcare

Gert-Jan Maasdam, Global VP Market Strategy and Innovation at Wavin: "These masks can make a small contribution to the well-being of the people who are so important right now. Like many others, we feel rather powerless in the fight against corona. We are happy to be able to take responsibility and at least do something."He continued: “We could not have produced this product so quickly without help so Wavin thanks all the closely involved partners for their commitment to make this important project possible. In particular, HAIDLMAIR, which helped to quickly develop and deliver the injection mould for the face shields, sheltered workshop Larcom and Valtech, Wavin's digital partner.” 

The Wavin face shields are currently available for professionals across Europe. The company is looking for opportunities to export to other European countries on short term. Please contact your local Wavin company for information on local availability.