Metalwork and fabrication company Steelcraft Ltd, based on the Drum Industrial Estate in Chester-le-Street, has turned its hand to manufacturing protective screens to help businesses return to work safely after the coronavirus crisis.

The family-run company, which specialises in supplying architectural metalwork, is planning to design and produce sneeze screens suitable for desks, counters and walkways to help local firms get back to business safely.

Matthew Rodgers, Managing Director, said: “As businesses begin to reopen, many are looking to install protective shields in areas where employees, such as receptionists and customer service representatives, interact with customers.

“We also know that offices are looking to place protective partitions between desks, and taxi firms have started to install screens between the driver and passenger areas. These social distancing measures will be commonplace in workplaces for the foreseeable future.”

Steelcraft, which has been operating for 30 years, specialises in bespoke architectural metalwork, including railings, gates, balustrade and handrails residential and commercial markets, including housing developments, schools, office schemes and care homes.

The protective screens are designed to protect people from airborne, virus-containing droplets caused by sneezing, laughing, coughing or speaking and can be used in a variety of settings including offices, shops, restaurants, banks, and pharmacies.

Matthew said: “”Our screens are made with sturdy metal, with the Steelcraft team using their extensive knowledge in metalwork to provide quick and bespoke options to meet specific needs. An because we’re focusing on supporting local businesses, we can keep costs much lower than national plastic suppliers.

“This will go a long way to reassuring and protecting staff during these uncertain operational times, while helping businesses get back to some kind of normality.”