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Bloc Blinds on FaceShields and getting back to work
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Sub-header (optional): Northern Ireland based window blind manufacturer Bloc Blinds has gone into production of essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
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Founder and Managing Director Cormac Diamond recognised the critical need for PPE face shields and realised that there were elements of window blind manufacturing that could be transferred to assembling this critical element of PPE.

Cormac Diamond said 'The safety of my staff and their family is the most important thing to me. As soon as the Government advised that all non-essential businesses should close, I took the immediate decision to stop manufacturing.'

Within just days the company, based in Magherafelt, Co. Derry who recently celebrated their 10 year anniversary, went from winding down to ramping up. Bloc Blinds moved from an idea, to a prototype to a repurposed production line from blinds to PPE equipment within 5 days and in its first week were able to produce 22,000 FaceShields per day to support frontline workers in the fight against Covid-19.

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The company have consistently worked with their supply chain as initial demand was unprecedented. Initially having to bring their staff up to 200 and now upon consolidating supply chain have increased this further to 300.

In a further development bringing production to the next level, global packaging company, Huhtamaki, joined forces with Bloc Blinds to massively increase production of PPE for healthcare workers. The two companies are set to deliver on an order of over 30 million Bloc FaceShields for the NHS. With Huhtamaki now on board using high speed packaging lines, an additional 400,000 pieces of equipment will be manufactured daily.

The partnership means Bloc's unique design can now move to the next level and help more front line workers and in the incoming weeks Bloc will continue to assemble in Magherafelt, be able to continuously work to scale production to meet the untold levels of demand and provide more vital PPE to more people.

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Sub Header (Optional): Mid Ulster District Council has supported the business by providing the use of Meadowbank Sports Arena to facilitate the production work.
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Cormac continues, "We started off trying to lend our support in some small way. Now with the partnership with Huhtamaki we can ramp up production of Bloc FaceShields, providing this vital PPE to more people. We are determined to help as many frontline workers as possible - and this new venture with Huhtamaki will not only help make this a reality but ensure a robust supply chain is in place."

Mid Ulster District Council has supported the business by providing the use of Meadowbank Sports Arena to facilitate the production work. With over 200 desks and pods laid out enabling appropriate social distancing, workers can use a skylight blind hook to pull boxes from one table to another to enable assembly and minimise contact. Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Martin Kearney, said "If a local company can re-purpose its production line with such agility and innovation to make urgently needed equipment for health workers, then we can re-purpose one of our sports centres to facilitate their work."

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Sub-header (optional): Face shields provide vital direct splash face protection to those bravely working on the front line against Covid-19.
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CE certified, they are suitable for healthcare providers, essential workers and those who have to work in close contact with others. The Bloc Face Shield is a full plastic wrap around visor with a foam headband for comfortable fit and secure top seal. The user can still wear prescription or protective eyewear underneath. It is lightweight and optically clear and comfortable for all day wearing.
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"I have been blown away by the support of the Bloc Blinds staff since repurposing our business. It has been an extremely busy 2 months and staff have worked tirelessly on this to make it happen and help people on the front line." said Cormac.

Blind operations remain Bloc's core business, and although temporarily stopped while restrictions remained in place on goods and movement of people, the company have now began to open up operations in a small and managed way. Enabling customers to enjoy the benefits of award-winning products such as the Bloc Out™ black out blind to help get a better nights sleep.

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Sub Header (Optional): Trusted Guidance should be followed!
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Bloc is closely following trusted guidelines and information on how to return to work safely and responsibly.

Cormac continues; 'We will continue to produce face shields until we no longer have to, as we are committed to helping our front line and essential workers and in addition to this, we also want to help society recover.'

The Bloc FaceShield is suitable for healthcare providers, essential workers and those who have to work in close contact with others. Helping to provide a safer return to work.

Visit Bloc Faceshield or

email faceshield@blocblinds.com

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