Mersey Maritime offers COVID-safe access

Representing hundreds of firms in Liverpool city region’s £4bn maritime sector, Mersey Maritime has now installed a ‘Sterilization POD’ at its Birkenhead headquarters. Tony McDonough reports

Mersey Maritime
Chris Shirling-Rooke walks through the Mersey Maritime Sterilization POD


Industry body Mersey Maritime is resuming small business meetings at its Wirral headquarters after installing COVID-safe technology and processes.

Mersey Maritime has hundreds of member firms and represents Liverpool city region’s £4bn maritime sector. It has put new measures in place to protect staff and visitors to its Birkenhead base, which is close to the river.

Just inside the main entrance of the premises, a ‘Sterilization POD’ has been installed. This is a special gate which can measure the temperature of people and then sprays them with a fine antibacterial mist.

Once inside the premises, staff and visitors are subject to strict social distancing and hygiene protocols. These are designed to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission. The Sterilization POD has been supplied by one of its members, Integration Solutions Management (ISM).

Mersey Maritime chief executive Chris Shirling-Rooke said: “We take the safety of our staff and members extremely seriously. We believe we are one of the first offices in the North West to have this technology in place.”

Throughout and following the lockdown period, Mersey Maritime has taken its popular events programme online. It has held a series of well-attended virtual webinars with a high-profile line-up of speakers. These have included industry leaders, Government ministers, economic experts and senior international trade officials.

Chris added: “Our virtual events programme, in conjunction with partners including Maritime UK and Western Union Business Solutions, have been informative and thought-provoking and have proved popular with our members.

“Now the city region, and the country, is looking towards economic recovery, despite the ongoing issues with the pandemic. We are ready to play our part in making sure our ecosystem has a safe environment to work in.”

An ISM spokesman said: “The technology is out there to mitigate the risk of various viruses not just COVID-19. The POD uses state of the art technology to not only disinfect users, but it can prevent further contamination for up to four hours.

“We‘re seeing businesses taking a lead in protecting their staff and clients. ISM can provide positive or negative results utilising a 10-minute ‘rapid antibody’ test along with a 15-minute ‘rapid antigen’ test for COVID-19. These are now available through our licensed medical partners and help to reduce the pressure on the NHS.

“The very nature of being an island nation means the maritime and logistics industry is essential in keeping us all fed, fuelled and supplied. ISM is playing our part in this.”

Chris also said: “In recent days we have hosted a couple of business meetings with strictly limited numbers. There is now a real enthusiasm among our members to get back to ‘more normal’ business.

“While there’s no silver bullet to the current crisis affecting all of us in so many different ways, I do feel that industry must move on to the front foot embracing technology where it can, to start driving the region’s economic recovery.”

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