The global pandemic of 2020 presented challenges to people, businesses and governments everywhere. Like most businesses we found our regular activities disrupted or curtailed altogether.
Fortunately, we quickly realised that our processes, skills and experiences could be utilised to fulﬁl the new needs that the pandemic had created, and so we turned our attentions to the supply of PPE.
It’s not uncommon for us to supply a product for the ﬁrst time, but a whole new category is more unusual. Furthermore whilst we have always ensured compliance to statutory requirements, backed by robust quality assurance, dealing with a product which literally has life-saving characteristics required an even more enhanced level of scrutiny.
Although demand was huge we resisted the temptation to rush into supplying products we hadn’t thoroughly vetted. Along the way we discovered various products which appeared compliant on ﬁrst glance, but on deeper investigation we found were far from it. Many had legitimate but incomplete testing and certiﬁcation, others legitimate certiﬁcation but from labs who didn’t have the appropriate accreditation to issue it. Plenty more simply hadn’t understood the requirements of standards correctly, and then there were those who understood perfectly well but had chosen to fake certiﬁcates instead. We even discovered, and reported to the police, one completely fake ‘testing house’.
Highlights of our PPE work were orders of Type iir medical masks and nitrile rubber gloves which we supplied in the millions to the Irish Police Force – the Garda.