03/26/2020 09:27 EDT | Updated 03/27/2020 09:10 EDT

Bauer Drops Hockey Gear To Make Face Shields For Hospital Workers

The Canadian company says it plans to produce 2,000 units per day.

MONTREAL — Canadian hockey equipment manufacturer Bauer is offering to modify its production line to make protective visors for doctors, nurses and first responders.

The protective equipment to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic would be produced at the company’s innovation centre in Blainville, Que., as well as its facility in Liverpool, N.Y.

Bauer’s vice-president of product innovation, Dan Bourgeois, said he’s received interest about the proposal 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?” Bourgeois said.

The company will try to make 2,000 units daily, Bourgeois says.

Bauer was inspired to produce protective gear after hearing Quebec Premier Francois Legault say manufacturers in the province could have a role to play if supplies run low, Bourgeois says.

“I contacted my CEO [Ed Kinnaly] and he said, ‘Hey, Dan, you have carte blanche. Go do it.’” Bourgeois said.

The proposed single-use, 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.

With non-essential businesses ordered closed in Quebec, the company is notifying the provincial government it will re-open while producing essential services before going into production Monday.

Bourgeois adds the company doesn’t expect to make a profit on the project, nor is that the goal, but says 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.”

The Quebec government’s Ministry of Economics and Innovation could not immediately be reached for comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on March 25, 2020.

Bauer Hockey/Twitter
Bauer shared these images on their Twitter account Wednesday of protective gear for front-line hospital workers.