Tackling The Covid Workplace Challenges For A Disabled Workforce

A man making windows

A company employing some of Birmingham's most vulnerable people, with 75% of its workforce disabled, has taken extra Covid-19 precautions during the return to work.

Shelforce has been tackling the challenge head-on to ensure its team are in a safe environment as the company slowly gets back to full capacity making PVC-U and aluminium products for local authority building projects.

Safe working practices have been introduced in the factory to help with social distancing, as well as reduced operating hours for staff. And the most vulnerable are being allowed to start and leave earlier so they will not be on public transport at rush hour. They are also finishing earlier on a Friday.


 “The lockdown has been hugely challenging for us all but it has impacted disabled people even more. We have staff who are autistic, deaf, visually impaired and suffer from cerebral palsy. Shelforce plays such a huge role in their lives that it was tough for them when they couldn’t do the job they love.”

– Howard Trotter 

Business Manager, Shelforce


Get to work safely

“It was very important to keep in touch with them as much as we could during lockdown and to have everything in place so they could work safely," continues Shelforce's Trotter. "As they can’t drive, they rely heavily on public transport so we have tried to minimise any risk as much as we can so they can get to work safely.

“It’s been a challenge but our team overcome bigger obstacles every day than many of us will face in a year and that toughness and a determination has allowed them to hit the ground running since they have come back.”

Shelforce is a chosen manufacturer for Birmingham City Council.

Earlier this year the company launched its new fully compliant Fireshel 30-minute fire, smoke, and security resistant door.

Picture: Floyd Levermore, a Production Operative for Shelforce.


Article written by Cathryn Ellis
01st October 2020


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