Ansell CEO has “serious concerns” about export control of PPE

Protective equipment supplier has expanded production capacity of PPE critical to essential industries but is concerned about impacts on the supply chain by imposed controls on exports

Ansell is working with governments and health organisations worldwide to ensure unrestricted personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacture and supply is given top priority during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As governments around the globe take measures to reduce the rate of infection in their populations, the unfortunate consequence has been to limit or shut-down PPE manufacturing or hinder efficient distribution, thus exacerbating the worldwide shortage of essential protective equipment.

"As a 125-year-old PPE industry leader employing 12,000 people worldwide, safety has always been our top priority and is best-in-class at Ansell," said Magnus Nicolin, CEO of Ansell.

Nicolin explained that the company has now adopted COVID-19 safe operations practices at all its sites to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission amongst the workforce.

"We are also leveraging the experience from our Chinese plant where we have continuously produced without a single infection since the onset of the pandemic in January," the CEO added.

We have serious concerns that suppliers of raw materials and components are impacted

Ansell products such as AlphaTec suits and GAMMEX & MICROFLEX gloves, comply with WHO guidance and EU and FDA specifications regarding infection protection while minimising cross-contamination risk when a novel coronavirus is suspected (such as COVID-19).

Nicolin said: "Today there is huge demand for these protective products, and we are prioritising healthcare and other essential industries where uninterrupted supply of PPE is especially critical. Any restrictions on production or distribution at this time will have severe implications."

Ansell has expanded production capacity of protective products critical to healthcare workers and other essential industries, and with the necessary support of local authorities are striving to operate these facilities at their maximum potential.

"We have serious concerns that suppliers of raw materials and components are impacted, threatening continued output of our protective products crucial to managing the pandemic and keeping workers safe," Nicolin said. "We are also concerned that certain countries (even within the EU) have imposed controls on exports or shipments across borders."

Governments must consider global needs when defining essential industries and facilitate, not hinder, the transportation of PPE

"We need excellent international cooperation among government agencies and PPE suppliers to ensure plants and borders stay open throughout the global PPE supply chain. This also means that governments must consider global needs when defining their essential industries and facilitate, not hinder, the transportation of PPE while also supporting manufacturers in ensuring protection of the workers involved in the manufacture and distribution of PPE," Nicolin concluded.

On behalf of its employees, customers and the global community, Ansell remains committed to combating the spread of COVID-19 and the chain of infection through maintaining the supply of essential protective equipment to where it is needed most.

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