To support the safe reopening of local primary schools, Zimmer Biomet Ireland has hosted an information and discussion event for principals, featuring practical advice and safety resources, aligned and compliant with current Irish Government guidelines.
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 our 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, St. Aidan’s N.S., Shannon said, “This session 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.”
Acknowledging the importance of education and industry collaboration, Peter Walsh, Principal, St Conaire’s N.S, Shannon said, “Thank you for including us in this imaginative yet practical initiative. The talk and the tour gave us an insight into how we can go about managing the situation in our school. The delivery was perfectly pitched and what came across to me most is how achievable the changes are in our school setting. Thank you also for your generosity with the posters, sanitisers, dispensers and other useful items. We enjoyed the experience and are looking forward to putting the learning into practice.” Dr Susan Frawley, Principal, Cratloe N.S. also voiced her appreciation, “I would like to convey my thanks to all those involved in our visit. 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.”
Commenting on the initiative, Joe Lyons, Principal, Ballybrown N.S., Clarina said, “It was great to hear how Zimmer Biomet has dealt with the challenges of COVID-19. Although a factory environment with an adult workforce is different from a school situation, there were learnings to be taken from the visit. 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 we are looking at implementing. We were delighted to take delivery of the packs from Zimmer Biomet and greatly appreciate your generosity.”
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
In May, staff from Zimmer Biomet Ireland in Shannon donated much needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), to the Rehabilitation Unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Ennis.