Nationwide shortage of PPE causes Ludington Beverage to tap into creativity to protect employees
LUDINGTON, Mich. — Faced with a nationwide shortage of face masks and limited resources in the community to make them from scratch, employees at Ludington Beverage — a beer distributor owned and operated by veterans — tapped into their creativity and ingenuity to create their own personal protective equipment (PPE) using can koozies.
“As an essential business under the governor’s ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ Executive Order, it is important we have critical personal protective equipment, like face masks, so we can protect the safety of our employees and customers,” said Tad Reed, president of Ludington Beverage. “When we learned it would be tough to get face masks, we made our own, which shows the ingenuity, determination and grit of the women and men at Ludington Beverage who have bravely served our country at home and abroad.”
The face masks designed by Ludington Beverage are made with can koozies and rubber bands. The only other materials required are scissors and a sewing machine. It takes 2-3 minutes to make each mask.
A Ludington Beverage employee created a step-by-step instructional video for those who want to create their own koozie face mask.
“These koozie masks are inexpensive to make, washable and reusable and I would encourage anyone who has koozies collecting dust in a drawer to watch our short instructional video and make their own,” Reed said.
To keep their employees and retail customers safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan’s beer distributors are following protocols and procedures outlined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) including social distancing, hand washing and cleaning and disinfecting machines and equipment.
Employees are limiting time in stores and using personal protective equipment when they are in stores. Retailers are also encouraged to place larger orders to reduce the number of visits from distributors.
“At Ludington Beverage, we are humbled to provide essential services to retailers throughout West Michigan during this crisis and will continue to put the health and safety of our employees, retail accounts and customers first,” Reed said. “If we all work together, use common sense approaches and practice social distancing we can continue to flatten the curve and reduce the spread of COVID-19.”
Shortly after the distributor made 50 masks for employees, a previously placed order of 3- ply medical grade masks arrived. Employees are currently using the 3-ply face masks and the homemade masks are part of an emergency supply of PPE.
Owned and operated entirely by veterans, Ludington Beverage is a fourth-generation family owned beer distributor located in Ludington, Michigan. The distributor services retailers in Manistee, Mason, Oceana, Lake, Osceola, and parts of Benzie and Newaygo Counties.
Photo Courtesy Ludington Beverage
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