Clean Works President Mark VanderVeen said Doug Ford did not appear concerned when staff at his company placed the Prime Minister’s cell phone in one of the devices he developed to disinfect N95 masks.
VanderVeen assured Ford that his BlackBerry would come out the other side in perfect working order with 99.99% less microorganisms, “and he just took our word for it.
Earlier this year, as Canadian healthcare workers faced a shortage of personal protective equipment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Beamsville-based company reworked its technology designed to sanitize tender fruits and vegetables to use also to disinfect masks.
Clean Works staff quickly realized that the same Health Canada approved device could be used for much more than enabling the safe reuse of disposable masks by decontaminating up to 800 per hour.
As employers, including Clean Works, step up disinfection protocols and measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, VenderVeen said disinfecting workers’ personal items – including electronic devices such as cell phones – has become a routine in the company.
“The employees come in and put their glasses, their cell phones (in the machine) so as not to bring anything into the establishment.”
Ford visited the plant on Tuesday with Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, to announce a $ 2 million provincial investment in Ontario Together funding to help the company invest in new equipment to increase the production of its Clean Flow Health Care Mini devices that eliminate 99.99% of pathogens and viruses on surfaces.
Ford said Clean Works is one of thousands of companies across the country “who have answered the call and joined the fight against COVID-19”.
He called his device “the made in Ontario solution to a very real challenge facing our frontline heroes.”
“This technology is the first of its kind in the world. There is nothing else like it on the market, ”said Ford.
With provincial funding, VanderVeen said 19 workers will be hired in January, new equipment will be purchased, and staff will be trained to enable the company to manufacture five Clean Flow Health Care Mini devices per day.
He said the expansion “really gives us the opportunity to rebuild the manufacturing sector in the Niagara region”.
“We’re really excited about this.”
Personal protective equipment isn’t as uncommon as it was in the spring, but company co-owner Paul Moyer said the same technology could be used to sterilize lunch boxes, backpacks and bags. other children’s items to ensure the safety of students when they return to classrooms. September.
“With the schools reopening, families are really concerned,” VanderVeen said. “If we could do something to disinfect, decontaminate, eliminate pathogens, viruses, bugs that can be introduced into the school system, that will be a big step in ironing out and allaying some of the concerns.
Moyer said the company “studies baggage for airports, for example, which is never disinfected.”
As Clean Works anticipates huge demand for its product, Moyer said the motivation is “to do the right thing”.
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“We were able to switch to PPE, not just N95 masks, but others. And now we come to the products entering and leaving the schools, ”he said.
Fedeli said he, too, expects demand to increase.
“In their shipping department today there is one headed for New Zealand, another headed for the United States and others that are destined across the country,” said Fedeli. “The fact that they sell them in such a robust way is an absolute sign that this is essential equipment that every healthcare facility should have.”