Bauer gets green light to make protective medical gear

Hockey equipment manufacturer Bauer says it has received government authorization to produce protective gear for medical staff and first responders.

The company says it has modified its production line to make full-face, single-use visors.

However, it needed to notify Quebec’s Ministry of Economics and Innovation and get the green light to operate as an essential business.

All non-essential businesses in the province have been closed under order of Premier Francois Legault.

Dan Bourgeois, Bauer’s vice-president of product innovation, says he received an email from the government at 2 a.m. on Thursday.

Bourgeois adds that demand has grown, meaning the company will try to ramp up its daily output in the hopes of producing 500,000 units.

Company says doing its part

The protective equipment will be produced at the company’s innovation centre in Blainville, Que., as well as its facility in Liverpool, N.Y.

On Wednesday, Bourgeois, said much of the interest was coming from Montreal police, firefighters and hospitals.

“We say we’re a protective company.… Then why aren’t we starting to [make] protection for our doctors, nurses, hospitals, and their needs?” said Bourgeois.

The  full-face visors are made of plastic and contain anti-fogging material. Bourgeois adds Bauer is in the process of developing visors that can be cleaned, disinfected and reused.

Bourgeois adds the company doesn’t expect to make a profit on the project, nor is that the goal. He said Bauer might also have other protective goods on the way.

“We really feel it’s our part in helping to fight COVID-19,” Bourgeois said. “And also to keep my people busy.”