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Zurich employees helping to make protective face equipment

04 May 2020

As the fight against Coronavirus continues, three Zurich employees are helping to produce protective equipment for healthcare professionals

3D Printer

After work, when most of us are thinking about taking our daily exercise or deciding what to have for dinner, some Zurich employees are busy making protective face equipment for healthcare professionals.

Andrew Coe, Engineer Surveyor, Tim Mortlock, Senior Market Underwriter, and Neil Cotterrill, Business Development Manager, have individually been producing protective equipment in their spare time, as well as helping distribution to wherever needed.

Andrew explains how he came up with the idea: ”I’ve always been a technology and gadget fan so as soon as 3D printers became affordable, I purchased one. It’s more of a hobby than just a printer though as getting prints of a decent quality takes a fair amount of tuning.

“I had read on the news about people in Italy 3D printing parts for ventilators and started looking if there was anything I could do. Visors are in demand and there are a couple of projects ongoing at the moment so I chose the largest one and I have printed and supplied this project with visor frames (top right). Most recently, I’ve been working on the Euro type full face shield, which you can make using PVC clear sheets and a hole punch.

“My local university is supporting this design and distributing them to our local hospital and trusts. My wife is a respiratory nurse and infection controller lead at a GP practice so I have also made a batch for her and her colleagues to use.”

Tim has also been producing shields that can be made into a kit along with elastic and visors. As part of a wider effort, Tim’s 3D printed shields are delivered to a local hub.

He explains, “my shields (bottom right) are delivered to the local hub about 10 miles away, where they are disinfected, and made into a kit with elastic and visors. These are then distributed to local front line agencies that need them, such as GP surgeries, hospitals, care homes, etc. Needless to say the supply is far under the demand, but we’re helping where we can.”

“We’re doing it in no expectation of anything in return, but for those not able to fund the materials themselves there is a system to reimburse them or supply them more materials to allow them to continue production, the more we can make the better.”

As something that started off as a family activity, Neil Cotterrill is now joined by over 40 members of his neighbourhood community in making shields and delivering to hospitals. As of the 1st May, they had collectively produced and distributed 2,500 visors to front line workers in the local areas with more being produced daily.

For more information about how Zurich are tackling the coronavirus, and online support and answers to frequently asked questions, visit our Coronavirus help and support pages.

Protective face mask Protective face mask