EEMUA - Representing Essential Business

12 May 2020

It has become an EEMUA tradition that in our Christmas holiday statement we recognise that for many of our Member company employees around the world, the holiday season will be a period like any other, when they will be continuing to ensure that the essential services upon which we all depend –  electricity, gas, raw materials – continue to be produced, and we thank them for their essential work.
That phrase, “essential work”, has become more widely used recently. As the COVID-19 pandemic has closed economies around the world, “essential work” has continued. Of course, frontline healthcare staff have been rightly praised for their response. Our minds have also been more focussed than in the past on the less recognised “essential workers”; those involved in the logistics behind getting food from field to fork – from farm workers to lorry drivers to store staff –  as well as the refuse collectors, the care home workers, and many others who society has all too often allowed to fade into the background.
But for EEMUA it has highlighted the role of a group of workers we have always recognised as essential; our Member employees. In contrast to the New Year, as the demand for chemicals and pharmaceuticals used in treating patients has ramped up, the need for medical gases has increased, and the requirement to maintain the reliability of our essential utilities remains paramount, for them this is not “business as usual”; they are operating under even greater pressure, with the additional difficulties of social distancing requirements, and reduced staffing levels through illness and isolation precautions. At EEMUA we have been working with the membership through our COVID-19 forum to examine what this means for inspection regimes and complying with local regulator requirements. We will also be looking at practical measures to comply with social distancing requirements on sites, and what worldwide good practice ought to be in coping with the “new normal” – another phrase that has become more widely used.
The chances are that if you are reading this you are already aware of the importance of our Members, and their staff. If you are a casual visitor, I hope we have added another category to your list of “essential workers”.
And if you are one of those workers keeping our lights on, our hospitals and homes supplied with what they need, in EEMUA Member companies, and others, all around the world – thank you. From all of us at EEMUA.

Stefan Kukula
Chief Executive / EEMUA