A SHANNON medical manufacturing company has provided an information night for schools with practical advice on Covid-19 safety measures for the return of students and staff at the end of August.
To support the safe reopening of local primary schools, Zimmer Biomet Ireland hosted an information and discussion event for principals, featuring practical advice and safety resources in compliance with current Irish Government guidelines recently.
Consistent with Zimmer Biomet’s focus on best practice sharing, 12 principals attended an overview slide presentation, delivered by staff, before touring the company’s Shannon manufacturing plant to see first-hand the comprehensive range of preventative measures in place.
They were then briefed as to how these measures might be adapted and implemented within the school environment and provided with a Back to School COVID-19 Safety Pack, containing hand sanitiser dispensers, safety stickers, signage, gloves and disinfectant wipes.
The daughter of a Zimmer Biomet employee, 11-year old, Sadhbh O’Donovan from Crusheen N.S. designed the child-friendly signage, which incorporates a hopscotch illustration with the logo “Hop on Board.”
Sadhbh’s signage will now be displayed in playgrounds, halls and classrooms throughout the region to help reinforce the safety message during the pandemic.
Welcoming the socially distanced group, Claude Costelloe, General Manager of Zimmer Biomet’s Ireland manufacturing facilities said the motto of their manufacturing organisation is ‘Made as if Intended for my Family’.
“For me, this perfectly sums up our culture of active engagement and personal ownership. In a similar way, we are proud to be part of this community, and want to play an active role in providing as much help and guidance as possible during these difficult times. We believe that there is no better way than to help the children and teachers in our community return to school safely.”
Patrice Hayes, Principal of St Aidan’s NS, Shannon said the presentation has helped paint the picture, provide reassurance and importantly instil a strong, positive sense of ‘can do.’
“With the proper equipment, policies, signage, clear communication, coupled with the support of our teachers, parents and the local community, we are confident that we can and will be welcoming all of our 260 pupils back on the 31st of August,” he said.
Acknowledging the importance of education and industry collaboration, Peter Walsh, Principal of St Conaire’s NS, Shannon said the talk and tour gave them a great insight of how to overcome the challenges of returning to school.
He thanked the company for providing posters, sanitisers, dispensers and other useful items.
Dr Susan Frawley, Principal, Cratloe N.S. also voiced her appreciation.
“I felt welcomed and everyone went above the call of duty to ensure we got the most out of the visit. It was a very worthwhile experience and I took away very practical, workable ideas that I will be able to use in my school.”
Joe Lyons, Principal, Ballybrown N.S., Clarina said the importance of establishing good handwashing and hygiene practices cannot be over emphasised. Also, the importance of recording, when cleaning and handwashing took place is vital. Additionally, the idea of staggering clock-in times is something the school are looking at implementing.
In preparation for the event, the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility committee liaised with local schools participating in the Junior Achievement programme, focussing on schools where Zimmer Biomet employees have volunteered their time to mentor, inspire and motivate pupils.
Over the coming weeks, Zimmer Biomet employees will volunteer their time and expertise to help install the COVID-19 Safety Packs at other local schools, including those attended by their own children.