Bradford White responds to concerned employees

MIDDLEVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — A Barry County company says its operations meet the governor’s essential business designation despite employees questioning if it’s complying with the new stay-at-home order.

Several News 8 viewers complained about Bradford White Corp. keeping its Middleville factory open Tuesday. 

According to its website, “Bradford White Corporation is a team of American-owned companies that designs, engineers, and builds water heating, space heating, combination heating, and storage solutions for residential, commercial, and industrial applications.”

News 8 took concerns to the company. Bradford White’s EVP and General Manager Mark Taylor sent the following statement:

“Governor Whitmer issued an Executive Order 2020-21 (COVID-19) to “stay in place,” but this order does not apply to critical infrastructure workers.  For purposes of the Governor’s order, critical infrastructure workers are those workers described by the U.S. CISA (The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency of the Department of Homeland Security) Director’s guidance issued on March 19, 2020, regarding the COVID-19 response. 

Part of the critical infrastructure is the continued production of water and space heating equipment that is essential to accessible hot water for sanitizing and hygienic purposes, which is a vital resource for helping combat the further spread of COVID-19.  Therefore, Bradford White Water Heaters remains open to supply essential and critical hot water products.

In order to ensure our employees’ safety and health, and in cooperation with United Auto Workers Local 1002, we have implemented procedures to limit person-to-person contact on the job, increased cleaning and sanitization procedures in the plant, and prohibit unauthorized visitors. We’re encouraging employees who display any symptoms to stay at home and are communicating one-on-one with employees to address any concerns and answer questions.

It’s essential to provide reliable, abundant hot water to hospitals, nursing homes, food manufacturing and even residential homes. By continuing to operate our Middleville factory, we can help meet the critical need for using hot water for sanitizing and hygienic purposes.  I’m so proud of our employees and the role they are playing in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.”