Wednesday 24 June 2020

Garador Gets Back to Work in Covid-19

In late March the machines at Garador, one of Yeovil’s largest manufacturers, ran eerily silent. There were no whirring, clacking or squeaking sounds commonly heard as large industrial machines pressed sheets of metal into various shapes, to build a garage door. 

The government’s lockdown had just come into effect and so the company was required to temporarily close its manufacturing facility, with the vast majority of its 135 staff furloughed and a small skeleton crew working from home.

Garador have been manufacturing garage doors in Yeovil for over 70 years and were originally part of helicopter manufacturing giant, Westland’s Aerospace. They mass produce garage doors for some of the UK’s leading housebuilders and are a well know brand throughout the building industry.

A little over a month later and the management team were looking at ways to re-open the business and begin manufacturing garage doors again. Garador’s MD, Neil Discombe has worked to put in place a series of measures which promoted extra hygiene procedures, additional cleaning shifts and more regular handwashing, as well as physical distancing and working from home wherever possible.

Neil Discombe, Garador’s Managing Director comments
“We examined government guidance on staying COVID-19 secure and looked at what steps we could take to reopen the facility safely and get the supply of garage doors flowing to the building industry again. We also worked closely with our union to identify and implement the necessary changes within the factory.”

Fast forward a couple of weeks and new cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures were introduced in line with government guidance. These included sanitising stations and additional cleaners to help with higher standards of cleanliness. All of the employees have also been encouraged to wash their hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, as it is considered to be one of the most effective measures to halt the spread of Coronavirus.

Garador have pulled out all the stops to ensure physical distancing is complied with, maintaining at least a 2 metre distance for those answering the telephones up in the office, or building garage doors down on the production line.

Floor markers were also placed throughout the premises to remind everyone to keep their distance. Plus, a one-way system for people walking around the factory has been implemented, so all members of staff are moving in the same direction and they are therefore less likely to cross paths.

To further encourage physical distancing, the company also introduced staggered start times for workers and staggered break times to prevent large gatherings of people.  Furthermore, temperature tests are undertaken each day before people begin their shift; if it’s over a certain threshold, they will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for at least 7 days.

Neil Discombe added:
“We’ve really tried to cover all bases in terms of taking the necessary measures to keep staff safe at work, with improved procedures for cleaning and hygiene.”
The whirring, clacking and squeaking sounds have returned to Garador’s factory, but not everything is quite as it was before the lockdown. As of June 2020, not all of Garador’s team have returned to work in the offices and on the production line, as it’s still important to maintain a 2 metre distance between individuals, so those that can work at home still do.

Neil concluded saying: 
“Our employees have been very understanding and supportive of the new measures we have put in place and are helping us to make further improvements where possible. It’s certainly not over just yet, so we’ve got to keep on top of the procedures we’ve put in place for cleanliness and hygiene, and not get complacent.
“But I’m optimistic that when the pandemic does pass there will be some real positives and genuine opportunities for British businesses too.”
You can find out more about Garador and its range of garage doors, front doors and accessories by visiting .

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