A DARWEN based company has tripled its production of protective glass sheets as part of a national campaign against the spread of Coronavirus.

Perspex International Limited has prioritised production of the material in order to build protective screens for supermarket workers and pharmacists that keep them safe from possible infection while they provide the public with essential supplies.

Perspex Acrylic Screens are set to become a familiar sight to shoppers as the crisis continues and the company works hard to meet demand across the UK and Europe.

Operations Director Bryan Welch said: “I am exceptionally proud of the way that our employees have stepped forward, some working extra shifts to cover for those who have had to go into isolation, in order to keep our production lines running and enabling these products to be available for manufacture of barriers that will help to keep people safe.”

Once the sheets are manufactured, they are then distributed to supermarkets and pharmacies by Perspex Distribution Limited, which operates within the same group ownership and fortunately already had large stock holdings of the material which helped to meet demand.

The company will liaise with both national retailers and small businesses.

This is not the first time that the company has had to step up to deal with a national crisis.

During the Second World War, the company then known as ICI manufactured canopies for RAF fighter planes.

The planes were crucial to the war effort, especially aerial combat during the Battle of Britain.

Now with the virus crisis afflicting the country the company has again had to act quickly to meet the challenge.

Mr Welch said: “As a UK manufacturer, we believe we have an obligation to meet this demand where possible and last week we acted immediately to increase production to meet the urgent requirements.”

He added: “Achieving the production volumes required in such a short time period has required the business to quickly implement new manufacturing methods and practical working changes.”

New measured instituted by the company include changing production schedules to produce more sheets, clearing other production lines and changing shift patterns.

These changes have seen production of sheets soar by 300% compared with last month.

Meanwhile company directors have moved to assure the public that workers are observing anti-virus measures themselves.

Managing Director of Perspex Distribution Limited Keith Piggott said: “The health and wellbeing of our staff remains a priority and PDL will continue to apply the latest government workplace health guidelines.

“Procedures are in place to ensure all employees adhere to the recommended social distancing and hygiene advice in the workplace and remote working has been implemented where possible.”