Playing a Critical Role at a Critical Time
Air Products has been designated by the U.S. government, and other governments around the world, as a "critical industry."
When one of us faces a challenge, we all face it together.
As the world navigates the challenges and threats from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we at Air Products are continuing to share information to help maintain the health and safety of our colleagues, customers, suppliers, and communities. This is our top priority, as ever.
We have established this web page for updates on COVID-19 as they pertain to Air Products and our stakeholders, and we will continue to update with relevant information.
Let’s continue to stand united, stay informed, and stay safe.
Coronavirus: What Air Products is Doing
March 27, 2020
Moving with Safety and Speed
Our teams are installing medical oxygen tanks safely and quickly to meet vital hospital health services needs in France.
A dynamic and fluid situation: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to escalate globally, with Governments around the world quickly moving from the contain to mitigation phase. Air Products wants to reassure you that we are not currently experiencing any production shortages in our businesses due to the virus. Around the world Air Products continues to review and evaluate its entire robust supply chain, redundant back-up plans, and network of facilities to meet customer demands.
This is a dynamic and fluid situation, which makes it difficult to predict its future impact or exact duration. What factors we are able to control we are doing, and that is to continually review and update our crisis and contingency plans, which may vary by product and plant location. As a result, we have now escalated our own company emergency response plans. This unlocks the next layer of protective measures for all of our offices and production sites. This elevated level had already been working well at many of our designated critical operational sites, where they were implemented earlier to ensure business continuity.
Proactive measures taken around the world: Air Products has and continues to take several protective measures to ensure the safety of our people and customers, while also maintaining business continuity. Some of these actions taken at locations around the globe include:
- Having our employees work from home if they are in a role that allows them to do so. All our offices and facilities remain open and operational, with only limited employees there who are business continuity critical and unable to do their job remotely.
- Restricting access to site visitors and holding virtual meetings instead of in-person meetings whenever possible.
- For authorized people who must enter one of our sites, additional health protocols have been applied including:
- Temperature checks at certain locations for employees, contractors, tenants and visitors.
- Refined work procedures to allow social distancing for specific personnel and their operations.
- Implementing carefully considered personal protective equipment at certain locations.
- Reinforcing good hygiene practices amongst our workforce, and in parallel our sites have implemented increased cleaning and disinfecting frequency.
- Restricting business travel per the latest guidelines from countries around the world. Early on, Air Products made its own decision to restrict employee travel to "business-critical" travel only.
Supporting Urgent Needs
Carburos Metálicos has supported the establishment of several new emergency rooms in hospitals in the Madrid area as well as medical gases and installation for a new field hospital IFEMA, a Madrid government consortium.
Critical infrastructure and life sustaining business: In locations around the world, some governments and states are enacting additional restrictions on the operations of businesses and movement of residents. Air Products has not been impacted by these restrictions to date, as our operations are designated as either "critical infrastructure" by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or an “essential” or “life-sustaining” business by states and other governments. Accordingly, our manufacturing and delivery of products are able to continue; across the U.S., this has included states where shelter-in-place and similar orders are in effect. We continue to evaluate each order but anticipate continued recognition of the importance of our products to national infrastructure security so that we can maintain operations. We are proud that our employees and products are essential to moving our countries forward every day, and particularly, in these challenging times.
Reported product shortages: In Europe there have been media reports of shortages of medical oxygen. Safety is something we take very seriously, along with ensuring customers do not experience interruptions to their gas supply – especially in areas of such importance as the supply of oxygen for medical care. Specifically, Air Products’ merchant gases business in the UK, which includes the production and delivery of medical oxygen, is operating at normal levels at this time. We are monitoring the situation, working with the UK government, and are in regular communication with our medical customers.
Ongoing collaboration between our company and customers: Our teams are continuously monitoring the real-time supply-demand balance, considering evolving resource challenges and issues as they develop and may change. If you do need to order product, then please contact us in the usual way. This will help to ensure your requirement can be correctly assessed as part of our scheduling process.
Likewise, please inform us if there are any changes that may affect our ability to meet our contractual obligations, such as changes to your location access procedures or the ability to continue granting us access to your facilities.
We will continue to provide you with updates, changes, and mitigation activities as appropriate during this challenging time for all of us in order to keep you abreast of the current status or other actions we may need to take relating to this event.
Partnering for Readiness
Should the need arise, drivers at our Carrington, UK production facility have trained Ministry of Defence Army personnel to load, drive vehicles and offload medial liquid oxygen.
Communicating regular updates: Our Chairman, President and CEO, leadership teams and health response teams have been sharing information regularly with employees about ongoing actions to maintain the health and safety of our colleagues, customers, suppliers, and communities.
Providing Life-Saving Services for MRIs
Liquid helium is critical to keep superconducting magnets cool in magnetic resonance (MRI) machines.
Providing work practices and standards to support employees during a health pandemic (like COVID-19): Based on facts, information from health authorities, community transmission assessments, and our ability to continue to deliver essential products and services people need, our teams continue to make critical decisions about work arrangements for employees. Air Products has a global standard practice that details how we continue to pay employees in the event of a health pandemic like coronavirus. Additional regional practices are designed to address regulations and different health crisis circumstances across the world.
Offering 24x7 employee assistance programs: We continue to provide assistance programs and resources to support our employees and families.
Supporting relief efforts: The Air Products Foundation awarded a $100,000 grant, approximately 700,000 renminbi, to assist COVID-19 recovery efforts in China, on top of an earlier donation of 500,000 renminbi, approximately $70,000, made by Air Products China to the Red Cross in China to support the most urgent medical care needs.
In addition, Air Products Korea has donated KRW 100 million (equivalent to US 84,000 dollars) to the non-profit organization Community Chest of Korea to help fight against the outbreak.
In addition, Air Products has continued to deliver needed medical liquid oxygen and helium to hospitals. Where appropriate, we are also working with government authorities to share our knowledge and expertise in the supply chain of medical gases.
Appreciation: We certainly appreciate your patience, cooperation, and collaborative approach to enable us all to navigate through these challenging times that we all face.
Serving Critical Needs, Staying Safe
Teams at our medical depots in France proudly mobilize to fill and deliver essential cylinders.