03 Apr 2020

British Steel coronavirus (Covid-19) update

British Steel CEO Ron Deelen today issued the following update:

“The coronavirus is shaping how we all lead our daily lives and we’ve robust and flexible plans in place to protect our employees, customers, suppliers and the communities in which we operate. We continue to follow the latest guidance from Public Health England and the UK Government, and are constantly adapting our working habits and operations accordingly.

“Hundreds of our employees, predominantly in office-based roles but a growing number in technical positions, have been working from home for some time now and they’ll remain doing so for the foreseeable future. Manufacturing is obviously very different and our safety critical operations, which are largely unique to the steel industry, require some highly skilled people to remain on our sites. To safeguard these employees during the pandemic, and ensure their wellbeing at work, we’re following Government guidelines and meeting twice daily to review operations.

“Actions we’ve taken include reducing production, social distancing where safe and practicable, providing face masks, improved cleaning standards and producing our own hand sanitiser gel. We’re preparing to start temperature checks for all people (including employees) visiting our sites and our Occupational Health team is offering expert care and guidance to our people. We’ve also asked contractors on our sites to take the appropriate measures.

“As we manage the internal and external challenges coronavirus brings, we’ll take decisive action to protect our people and our operations. Due to a fall in demand, we’ve paused production and operations at our Special Profiles business in Skinningrove, initially for three weeks, with immediate effect. We’re also reducing operations at our Lisburn service centre for a short time for similar reasons. These are both temporary measures in the face of difficult market conditions, and we’ll provide all the support our employees deserve and require. Our other sites continue to operate in line with Government guidance, including our two blast furnaces in Scunthorpe. We’ll continue to adjust production appropriately and will not compromise on safety.

“We’re extremely grateful for the commitment and flexibility of all our employees, and for Jingye’s resolute support. I’d also like to thank our customers, suppliers and contractors for their understanding, along with the trade unions and Government for their assistance. These are unprecedented and challenging times but we’re working hard to ensure we come through this together.”