Global fall protection leader Latchways hosted local Devizes MP and Minister for Rail, Claire Perry, at a recent open day at its HQ in Devizes, the first official event since its acquisition by MSA Safety.
The company was showcasing its world renowned approach to engineering and its commitment to development and nurturing local talent. Latchways is responsible for innovative fall protection systems at many iconic buildings across the world – including New York’s Grand Central Station, the new Doha airport in Qatar and the Olympic Stadium in London.
Chief Operating Officer for Latchways, Gavan Duff, presented visitors with his vision for the company and said: “Latchways here in Devizes will become a centre of excellence for engineered fall protection systems. The innovation here will be used as a springboard to accelerate growth, both in employment and market share. To give you an idea of how important Latchways is to MSA as a whole, we will be adding 17 new products to our portfolio in the next 12-18 months – and those are really complementing the MSA range to satisfy customer needs.”
At the heart of Latchways global success is its New Product Development Centre, headed by Karl Jones. From the facilities in Hopton Park, the multiple award-winning Personal Rescue Device (PRD) has been designed, developed, tested and manufactured to produce the world’s first fall arrest and self-rescue system.
“We pride ourselves on innovating and breaking new ground in engineering fall protection solutions,” explained Karl. “We specialise in ‘technology transfer’ which means we learn from the high-tech worlds such as those of formula one and aerospace and translate that learning into providing truly game-changing fall protection.”
Claire Perry is MP for Devizes and was making her first visit to the fall-protection designer and manufacturer. She said: “It’s exciting to discover that we’re manufacturing products here in Devizes that are then installed and used to protect people working at height across the world. It’s also really encouraging to see apprenticeships offered in engineering by a company that has such a bright future.”