A firm has switched from automotive accessories to a crucial piece of protective gear and in the process, ensured its 800 staff remain employed.
A firm has switched from automotive accessories to a crucial piece of protective gear and in the process, ensured its 800 staff remain employed.

How this firm saved 800 jobs amid COVID-19

Brisbane-based manufacturer EGR Group has pivoted from making automotive accessories to producing protective face shields to protect frontline workers against the coronavirus.

The company's 800 staff in Brisbane are gearing up to produce large volumes of high-quality protective face shields for medical staff and essential retail workers.

EGR's Salisbury factory should be producing the multi-use plastic PPE (personal protective equipment) at a rate of hundreds of thousands a day, by late April.

"We're the only company in Australia that manufactures this type of material on a mass scale," EGR Group director Rod Horwill said.

EGR Group director Rod Horwill.
EGR Group director Rod Horwill.

"We already produce thousands of tonnes of plastic sheeting a year for the automotive industry in Australia and globally. We have dedicated resources to move quickly, adapting our extrusion division operations to fill this critical need for health workers."

 

 

He said EGR was looking to create a new PPE division to supply the local health industry.

The company, founded in 1973, had also recently supplied the plastic protective screens currently in use across major retailers in Australia to protect frontline staff.

EGR is shifting the focus of its Salisbury factory to produce face shields and other plastic personal protective equipment.
EGR is shifting the focus of its Salisbury factory to produce face shields and other plastic personal protective equipment.

"With the automotive industry slowing as a result of the pandemic, this innovative approach of

fast-tracking our research and development into this much-needed health product means we're

able to provide job security for up to 800 Queenslanders," Mr Horwill said.

"The face shields are designed, developed and manufactured right here in Brisbane with export opportunities in the US, New Zealand, South Pacific and Papua New Guinea. We've already received inquiries from the health sector in the US as they too face this ongoing global health crisis."

Originally published as How Brisbane firm saved 800 jobs amid COVID-19


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