I would normally end this note with a message of thanks to our employees in this difficult crisis. But let me start this time with my most sincere gratitude to all the employees who work in this company. If there is something we have learned these days, it is the capacity of our people to adapt to unexpected situations, to react quickly and to make contingency plans early on to be one step ahead.
Our employees are showing their great discipline strictly following procedures to keep us and our families safe and to ensure business continuity as much as we can, whether it is in our plants, or supplying hospitals and other vital industries or working from home. The dedication and commitment we are seeing reinforces what we already knew: we are a great company, because we have a great team.
The coronavirus crisis has suddenly changed our way of working, living and interacting. In Nippon Gases we have taken this situation very seriously from the beginning and have implemented a good number of measures to preserve the health of our employees and their relatives, as well as the service to our customers.
We have been adapting our decisions and actions as the situation has evolved and we will continue to adapt in the coming weeks to new challenges. Some of the actions we have implemented to safeguard the health of our employees are:
- Creation of contingency plans for all plants and sites.
- Definition of special Procedures on Production, Distribution and Cleaning & Disinfecting of medical cylinders.
- Extreme hygienic measures, including daily disinfection.
- Additional Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), where required.
- Complete separation of shifts with cleaning activities at shift change.
- Minimization of contact with external people.
- Employees who can work from home are working from home. Over 40% of our employees were working from home. The finding that we can work flawlessly from home has made these days easier for all of us and is a good learning for the future.
- Regional crisis management teams have been in place from the start, implementing multiple additional measures depending on their needs.
We are yet unable to measure what impact this coronavirus crisis will have on our business. As we have always done, we will do our best to partner with our customers in good and bad times.
Through the local Industrial Gases Associations and Chemical Industry Associations we are working with the Governments to mitigate the overall impact of the crisis. As key industry supplying many vital sectors we have an additional responsibility in this crisis.
We have to face the next few weeks with determination and the conviction that eventually it will be over. We have to find routines that get us through these days/weeks, work, exercise, learning new things, relearning forgotten things, leisure alone and with the family, virtual parties with friends or colleagues, rest, don´t forget to rest…always paying a great deal of attention to hygiene.
When this is over, and it will be over, there will be a tremendous upswing everywhere in the world and particularly in Europe. People will emerge out of this highly testing situation with a great sense of relief, pride and victory. The current economic crisis will quickly reverse into a time of economic opportunities, optimism and growth.