Protective screens and face shields enable the new normal
’Having protective screens helps us to embrace the new normal,’ says Frank Haberzettl, CEO of Kompass Leben, one of 46 workshops for people with disabilities in Hesse. Working with workshop manager Thomas Henning and selected employees of the REHA Werkstatt in Lauterbach, the company put the cardboard protective screens developed by STI Group through their paces.
The idea behind the screens is to offer employees in manual workplaces, especially those involved in packing activities, additional protection while enabling them to work efficiently.
Up to 110 people work in the Lauterbach REHA Werkstatt, putting workpieces together, assembling products or carrying out preparatory work for medical product manufacturers. Although the site itself was not forced to close under state and federal COVID-19 regulations, employees with disabilities have not had access since mid March due to their vulnerability.
’It’s been a difficult time for many of our employees, as they enjoy their work and miss the social interaction,’ says Haberzettl. As restrictions are further relaxed in the coming weeks, employees should be able to return to their jobs. Of 110 employees, only 20 remained on site as they work for critical support industries. Implementing appropriate hygiene procedures is now the main challenge for workshop manager Thomas Henning, so he jumped at the chance when STI Group Marketing Director Claudia Rivinius brought screens to the workshop for testing.
Immediately the screens showed their worth: a packing table that could only accommodate 2 employees with social distancing could now be worked by 4 employees. The employees’ favourite proved to be another product developed by STI Group’s creative design team after the virus outbreak began: plastic face shields. ’Many of our employees have mental health challenges, suffer from anxiety or have limited perception. Those employees find face masks extremely stressful,’ says Haberzettl. He had therefore already discussed the possibilities of using face shields with the medical supervisor, and was delighted to be able to obtain these for his team.
With the screens performing so well in testing, STI Group now plans to equip the entire Lauterbach workshop with protective equipment, free of charge, over the coming weeks. The idea is now being shared with other disabled workshops in the state of Hesse.