Morris Lubricants: New hand sanitiser helps in fight against COVID-19

Published:  22 April, 2020

 As part of the national effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Morris Lubricants has pledged to manufacture, bottle and distribute tens of thousands of litres of hand sanitiser using a World Health Organisation approved formula.

The company’s production department responded to this urgent call – without compromising their usual 750,000 litre output of product per week – and the new hand sanitiser, which is available as part of the Workshop Pro Range, is already being freighted in bottles as small as 200ml to key workers and clients on the front line up and down the country.

“We gave a litre of our first batch to every member of staff,” said Chris Slezakowski, Managing Director of Morris Lubricants.

On the subject of taking care of staff, Chris observed: “We want to meet our obligations, legally and morally, so the company, the family, also decided we’d have our own furlough scheme which is more generous than the government scheme.”

For those still working at the company’s Shrewsbury site, other measures were put in place: “From day one, we took great care to listen to what the government instructed, and followed it precisely,’ said Chris.

“With the support of our IT department, we had the foresight to purchase some equipment just as COVID-19 became an issue, so when we were first alerted to the need for our team to work from home we accelerated our roll out of VOIP phones.”

“This means that every phone in the building is now capable of being physically elsewhere, but digitally ‘present’ on our system. A customer can call the usual telephone number and still be answered in the same way, by the same team, despite the phone being relocated to a member of staff’s home.

“While many of these facilities are not new, the speed of take up by our business was dramatic. We went from an office-based business to full remote working in less than a week without any interruption in service.”

Elsewhere in the business, where remote working is not possible, person-to-person contact is being limited and the frequency and intensity of cleaning at all sites has been significantly increased.

“Most of our manufacturing process is computer controlled, and because many of our machines are forty or fifty feet long, people don’t have to work side by side on the production line.”

Morris Lubricants drivers have also been issued PPE to safeguard against infection, and the specific delivery requirements of each customer are being observed whilst implementing social distancing measures. The 48-hour period from order to delivery continues to be met.

Chris admits that these have been some of the most challenging and dramatic few weeks of his working life to date, but it’s the early retirement of a colleague, days before lockdown, that stands out as one of the most symbolic and poignant moments: “After 47 years of service, his colleagues – standing two metres apart – gave him a corridor of applause as he left the building. As he walked up to the gate, all I wanted to do was shake his hand, but I couldn’t, so just a couple of elbow bumps had to do.”

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