Great Britain

Presicion Polymer Engineering: Blackburn firm reopens after losing colleagues to coronavirus

A BLACKBURN engineering company has paid tribute to one of its workers as it prepares to reopen following the easing of lockdown regulations.

Precision Polymer Engineering (PPE) employee Alistair Duxbury and former employee Stewart Brown both died after contracting coronavirus.

Mr Duxbury was one of 14 workers out of a total of 250 at the manufacturing facility who was infected with the virus.

A spokesman for the company said: “Alastair, or Big Al as he was affectionately known, was a model colleague and section lead at PPE for the past 15 years.

“Alastair was hard-working, dependable and had a great sense of humour, just the kind of person you want on your team.

“He always focused on the good of the people in his department and took pride in being Section Lead of his area.”

Mr Duxbury leaves behind wife Catherine and three children.

Stewart Brown, meanwhile, who is described in a tribute as a “great work mate” had left the company earlier this year on March 31 and had been off work with a long-term illness for nine months.

He leaves behind wife Ruth and two daughters.

The company closed its doors on 15 May after discovering the first confirmed case and began a process of deep cleaning.

It then began a gradual reopening process on Wednesday this week along with a raft of new safety procedures.

These include temperature screening for employees arriving for work each day, new cleaning and disinfecting protocols, including professional deep cleaning of the entire site

Social distancing requirements, including realigning workstations where required and establishing one-way flow patterns for walking through the facility, having employees who can work remotely do so, splitting shifts so fewer people are onsite at any one time and providing hand sanitizer and face coverings for employees.

The spokesman said: “PPE continues to place the highest importance on the safety of our people, which is why we introduced robust safety measures from Mid-March and are continually looking to make them even better.”

The company is planning a memorial service for Alistair Duxbury when lockdown restrictions allow.

Meanwhile a colleague of Mr Duxbury and former colleague of Stewart Brown has set up crowd funders for the two men.

Visit Mr Duxbury’s crowd funder here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mark-catlow and Mr Brown’s here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mark-catlow-1.

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