Category Archives: COVID-19

4.7M Brits Social Distance From Debt while staying home

With the government encouraging the nation to stay home, 4.7 million Brits have used the time to socially distance themselves from their debt, according to a new study.

The research from leading savings site reveals how the nation’s savings habits have changed since lockdown came into effect and investigates the feelings surrounding people’s financial situation during these uncertain times.

The findings show a decrease in the proportion of UK adults who currently say they are in debt, compared to those who did prior to social distancing measures being introduced. Excluding mortgages, those who are currently in debt dropped from 50%1 to 41%2, equating to 4.7 million fewer Brits3.

Despite news of holidays being cancelled and restaurants and bars closing their doors, 2.5 million people say they actually feel happy they can use lockdown to repay – fully or partially – their existing debt.

Since lockdown began on 23rd March, nearly half of Brits (47%) said that they save more each week – £27.30 on average, equating to £109.20 per month. Additionally, over half (58%) of people are saving up to £200 more per month and 8% saving £400 and over.

While these extra savings have led to 15% of people feeling positive about their current financial situation, two in five (40%) still admit to feeling anxious about their finances. Naturally, for those who have been made redundant in the past month, this figure is much higher at 54%. Understandably there’s a similar picture amongst those who are currently furloughed, of whom 49% confessed to feeling anxieties around their finances.

Anita Naik, Lifestyle Editor at, commented: “While social distancing measures have drastically changed life as we know it, it’s encouraging to see that many people are actually seeing an improvement in their financial situation as a result. Whether that’s saving an extra £50 a week or taking this opportunity to pay back any existing debt, it’s great to see a positive change in people’s attitudes towards their finances.

“The decline in the number of people who are in debt since lockdown measures came into place is also promising. If you’re looking for achievable ways to save money during this time, simple ways to start include setting a weekly budget, and cancelling any subscriptions you no longer need. Finally, by being conscious to shop around and make use of discounts, you’ll be sure to get the best deals available, and the little savings will quickly add up.”

Okta research finds that just one in four UK workers want to go back to the office full-time

Okta, Inc. , the leading independent provider of identity for the enterprise, have this month launched The New Workplace: Re-imagining Work After 2020 report, which highlights the technological and cultural challenges office workers have faced as well as the learnings businesses can take to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger.

The research, which was conducted by YouGov, surveyed 2,000+ office workers across the UK, also found stark differences about the impact our new way of work has had on London based workers compared to workers in the rest of the country.

Productivity at home

Okta’s research found that despite a radical shift in the way we work, only 31% of respondents said their productivity levels had taken a hit.

Of those that are thriving in the new work environment:
● 62% of respondents said the increase in flexibility had helped them to focus more on work
● 55% said their productivity levels were boosted due to the additional free time in their day
● 44% said that they had fewer distractions at home

There have been technology challenges associated with this shift in the way we work. While 60% of respondents said they have been able to access the software that they need to carry out their day-to-day duties, some 24% of newly-remote workers said they couldn’t and were therefore unable to be productive from home at the beginning of the pandemic. 28% said their businesses had not equipped them with the necessary hardware, such as a laptop or a place to put it, in order to be able to work productively at home.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to think and act differently”, said Jesper Frederiksen, VP and GM EMEA. “Businesses have had to learn the hard way about the need to digitally transform to survive, and it is these learnings that will help us emerge from this crisis stronger.”

The culture shock

To work productively at home, having the right technology set-up is essential, but it’s also vital that working conditions and culture help employees get work done.

UK workers miss many elements of the traditional office environment including:

  • More than half (57%) say they miss having in-person conversations with their co-workers
  • 49% miss the relationships they have forged with those in the office
  • 10% are missing the benefits provided by their company, such as free food and snacks and fitness classes

Interestingly, there were stark differences between London based workers and those in the rest of the UK. Some 54% said they missed having a separate work and living environment compared to just 34% of those living in the Midlands, along with 34% in Wales and 40% of those based in Scotland.

“We all work differently and the results of our study speak to that. Some people perform better if they avoid their twice daily commute and head to work in their distraction-free home office. Others have less-ideal accommodation – particularly those that live in the city – and work better in a more traditional office environment where they can be surrounded by co-workers and take part in face-to-face meetings,” said Jesper Frederiksen, VP and GM EMEA.

“This is why businesses should look into introducing a dynamic hybrid of office and remote work, which means they can re-evaluate the traditional office space while providing employees with comparable benefits, flexibility, and experiential work environments in the location that best fits their needs.”

The survey reflects that this is what workers want, as just 24% of UK respondents said they want to return to the office full-time and 35% saying they’d prefer a flexible arrangement where they can work from home on a part-time basis.

Security starts with trust

“Given this recent rise in cyber incidents since the COVID-19 pandemic began and the ever-pervasive privacy issues surrounding our digital identities, the significance of trust has never been more important” said Jesper Frederiksen, VP and GM EMEA. “Organisations now more than ever need to prove they are trustworthy to their employees in order to effectively facilitate this new way of working.”

In the UK, only a third (32%) of respondents said they were completely confident that the working from home online security measures implemented by their employer would keep them safe from cyber-attacks.

This level of preparedness varies between sectors; while 57% respondents working in the IT industry trusted that their employer was “completely prepared” from a security point of view, just a quarter of those in the retail and education sectors had a similar level of confidence.

Other key stats

  • Public vs Private Sector: 60% of employees in the public sector are typically required to work in an office five days a week, but only 29% of them would want to go back to this working routine. The good news is, it appears the public sector was well-prepared for a shift to remote working; 60% of employed staff had immediate access to the necessary hardware, with 67% having access to the required software.
  • By comparison, 54% of private sector employees surveyed said they were equipped with the right hardware, and 59% with the necessary software.
  • Working Hours: Almost 40% of respondents said that despite their new freedom they were working the same hours as normal, with a further 20% working longer hours than they would in the office
  • Trust: 64% of UK respondents said that they think that the perception of employees not doing enough work from home has improved.
  • Virtual Meetings: The majority of UK respondents, many of whom are also adopting this technology to stay in touch with friends and family, said they were completely comfortable with virtual meetings, with just 5% saying they were not comfortable at all.

Hair salons MUST be seen as an essential service says mental health campaigner

To mark the launch of his documentary The £1.7 Million Haircut mental health campaigner and barber Tom Chapman says hairdressers and barbers MUST be seen as an essential service as fears a mental health crisis is looming.

In his moving new documentary about male suicide, which launched today on Amazon Prime, Tom tells the story of how the unexpected death of his school friend made him give his barber shop business and take on a one man mission to save lives, one haircut at a time.

The economic burden of each life lost to suicide is estimated at £1.7M — UK Department of Health

With someone in the UK taking their own life every 120 minutes, 75% of them being men, the need for change is more crucial than ever. The £1.7 Million Haircut follows Tom taking the challenge head on to break down the stigma around men discussing their mental health. Tom meets with influential leaders in the South West to expose the stark reality the impact suicide has on communities, healthcare services and the economy.

Recognising that barbers and hair professionals are often a trusted confidant and friendly ear to their customers, the documentary shows Tom’s efforts to develop a clinically backed training programme – BarberTalk – for hair stylists to support their clients and communities.

After the death of his friend Alex, Torquay based barber Tom Chapman founded the charity ‘The Lions Barber Collective’. Its mission is to create non-clinical, non-judgemental safe spaces where men feel comfortable to talk about their mental health and to signpost them to support and information.

Tom Chapman said “The economic impact per suicide is something I had not really considered before, loss of earning, loss of employment, inquests into the death, it amounts to so much more than we could ever imagine. It now makes what we are doing as a charity even more important, to save lives and make a difference to families out there who have been subject to such tragedy. I am now making it my mission to create a world free from suicide, how could we ask for anything less?”.

Made by ‘Films by Wonder’, the film is produced by Lisa Gardiner, directed by Josh Pratt and demonstrates the charity’s obvious impact on people’s lives. We meet the official ambassadors of the charity, Dan Davies, Darren Birch and Wez Jones who help deliver the BarberTalk training across the country and beyond. Each share their story of helping their clients as well as close personal accounts of the reality of coping with mental health issues – from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to experiencing suicidal thoughts. 

Due for release in May, the documentary builds on the charity’s momentum to become a global movement by training barbers all over the world to recognise when someone is struggling and support them to find further help. And, despite the positive aspects of meeting Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge as well as Tom receiving the Points of Light Award from former Prime Minister, Theresa May, it also shows the reality of the challenges of running a charity. The viewer sees upfront the ever-growing burden of trying to acquire funding and the tough decisions that Tom must make to secure its future.

‘The £1.7 Million Haircut’ was released on Amazon Prime this week. I’m sure our readers will join us in thanking Tom for his life-saving work.

Mrs Buckét sweeps the floor with game-changing back to work services

Mrs Buckét, the specialist national cleaning operation, today launches two new service offerings, a monthly prevention service and the Spot Check Hygiene audit, in the bid to help get businesses back to work safely as the COVID-19 lockdown begins to change.

The first of its kind for the South West and Wales, Mrs Buckét has invested £35,000 in a new chemical which provides up to 30 days of protection on surfaces, even after normal cleaning and wash down procedures. Hailed for its use in New Zealand, widely lauded as one of the world’s most successful countries in dealing with the outbreak of coronavirus, the chemical creates a protective layer which attracts and kills organisms mechanically, removing the risk of cross contamination, resistance or mutation.

No business in the South West has yet to trial this transformative product. Already, Mrs Buckét has nine extra clients on board for the use of this chemical including the Vehicle Certification Agency headquarters in Bristol.

The company has also invested in a ride-on sanitiser service for those clients operating manufacturing sites or depots. This new technology allows sanitisation to happen quickly and effectively over large surface areas; only needing one person to navigate the machinery, this vehicle is not only time-savvy but also eliminates risk of close contact amongst numerous cleaners. Using the new ride-on sanitiser, fogging machines and electrostatic cleaners, the chemical is sprayed from top to bottom of work premises, repeatedly killing pathogens over and over again for 30 days, ensuring the safety and protection against COVID-19 for all of those returning to work.

Finally, Mrs Buckét has introduced the Spot Check Hygiene audit, a unique risk check aimed at those businesses that are looking to re-evaluate their cleaning methods post-COVID. The audit will measure the standard of current cleanliness and hygiene, the products used as well as additional bacteria testing, showcasing whether the company’s existing cleaning routines are protective or putting workforces at risk of illness.

Rachael Flanagan, Founder of Mrs Buckét, commented:
“Whether lockdown ends in two months or six months, employees will still be apprehensive to re-enter the workplace, especially with the knowledge on how the virus is spread and how long it can live on surfaces without effective cleaning.

Our two new offerings allow businesses to feel safe and secure in the knowledge that their premises are not only clean, but free from risk. Our goal is to allow our clients to not only return to work but also maintain business continuity throughout the peaks and troughs that the easing of lockdown will undoubtedly bring.”

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday, more and more businesses will be looking at how to protect their people from a second peak of COVID-19. This is especially true for those employees within construction and manufacturing who, from Wednesday, returned to work following new government guidelines.

The Vehicle Certification Agency, added:
“Mrs Buckét and the Vehicle Certification Agency are working together to ensure that measures and systems are implemented that will allow their employees to begin returning to work over the coming weeks. The monthly prevention service being provided has been designed to not only create a risk-free environment, but also provides assurance to staff so that they can feel safe and secure in the measures provided to allow their return.”

Getting Britain back to work: data reveals uptick in transport and business critical roles as lockdown eases

While vacancies in the UK dropped in the week following the Prime Minister’s easing of lockdown restrictions, dipping 10% week-on-week, the uptick in maintenance, cleaning and transport roles during this period indicates an attempt to get Britain working again. That’s according to the latest real-time statistics from the world’s largest network of job boards, Broadbean Technology.

Cleaning and maintenance vacancies spike to support return to work

In the week ending 17th May, Broadbean Technology’s data indicated a 37% increase in cleaning and maintenance vacancies compared to the week leading up to Boris Johnson’s announcement, as more businesses looked to re-open offices as lockdown restrictions are eased. These roles accounted for 39% of all new jobs added last week, indicating an increase in employers looking to make work environments safe for returning staff.

With the construction industry given the green light to begin work again, it’s perhaps no surprise that vacancy numbers increased 11% week-on-week as site managers seek to replace those unable to return to work due to illness or home-care requirements.

Transport and security demand increases to getting Britain moving again

As Britain tries to ‘get back to work’, transport and logistics noted an uptick in staffing demands. Procurement and warehouse management saw an 11% increase while transport and traffic noted a 6% rise in vacancies posted week-on-week. This is indicative of the expansion of public transport options, including the extra train services which began running this week.
As transport chiefs seek to make public travel safer and bring in additional security resources to enforce social distancing and crowd control measures, security roles also increased, accounting for 19% of all new vacancies added last week.

Alex Fourlis, Managing Director at Broadbean Technology said:

“While it’s perhaps too early to say that things are on the up, our data indicates some positivity as Britain tries to get back to work. As businesses look to open offices, demand for safe public transport increases and construction gets going again, the challenge facing employers now is finding enough people willing and able to get back to work.

“With much of the UK workforce struggling with childcare options, illness and potentially juggling work commitments with living with a vulnerable person, the resources aren’t necessarily available to return to normal activities. We expect demand for staff for sectors that form the foundation of the country’s workforce – such as cleaning, maintenance and transport – to continue to grow in the coming weeks and months.”

Weekly COVID-19 testing of employees could enable UK businesses get back to work safely

Paul Hillman, Director, MEDsan UK, considers whether frequent testing could get the UK’s furloughed employees back to wokrplaces

It has been suggested that the lack of testing to date in the UK has proved costly. For example, had more tests been available for care home staff and residents, many lives could have been saved. The World Health Organisation’s mantra has been “test, test, test” throughout this crisis. South Korea has managed to contain the virus to such an extent that on 30th April it reported it had seen no new domestic infections, but it had more than 200 labs carrying out tests from the start. Germany also has an in-built advantage in that it has a well-established biomedical engineering industry as well as a decentralised testing model which allowed for a much greater number of tests. In comparison, the UK has demonstrated a lack of a coherent, overarching strategy with regards to testing.

The biggest test for testing is yet to come. If easing of lockdown is to succeed, an effective testing and tracing regime with rapidly generated results is urgently required.

This is where rapid antibody testing comes in. Rapid antibody tests are an ideal workplace screening tool for businesses and organisations. These tests are very reliable, with many claiming sensitivity and specificity of over 95%. Germany, with its well-established expertise in diagnostics and bio medics, is leading the way in the quality of these tests.

As workplaces look to get back up and running as easing of lockdown approaches, a cohesive testing strategy can enable businesses to get their workforces back to work safely. MEDsan UK has prepared a proposed early testing strategy for businesses wanting to get employees back to work.

Four days before being due back to work, the employee takes a rapid antibody test, with a finger prick of blood. The results are given within 10 to 15 minutes. If negative, the employee tests again the morning they are due back to work. If the test is still negative, they can proceed to go to work, observing the Government’s social distancing strategy wherever possible, and test every week continually.

If the employee tests positive, they must immediately self-isolate to prevent spreading the virus to others. They should then contact the NHS on 111 for advice on the next steps to take.

Critical industries such as the care sector, construction, transport and logistics can look to employ this strategy to be able to run their business whilst keeping track of employee exposure to the virus and keeping their workforce safe. MEDsan UK’s rapid antibody test costs £30 per test. This means a business would incur a £30 cost per head, per week to employ this proposed testing strategy.

This is an early strategy and may change as new data on testing strategies and limitations of kit assays in population studies becomes available.

MEDsan UK’s rapid antibody test is manufactured in Germany by SanPharma – a well-respected business producing diagnostics and medical devices for over 40 years. Initial laboratory test results demonstrated a clinical sensitivity of more than 96%, a specificity of 100% and an overall accuracy of 99%.

MEDsan have received over 30 million orders from over 20 countries globally for the COVID-19 rapid tests including the USA, Germany, Spain and Italy. A responsible and realistic testing strategy such as the above can enable the UK to ease out of lockdown, restart critical industries, release employees out of furlough, reemploy those made redundant during the crisis and restart the economy, all whilst keeping employees safe.

Businesses throughout the UK need to review how their workforce can safely ease out of lockdown, and rapid antibody testing is the ideal, and most easily manageable, tool in which to do this.

Life After Lockdown: Remote Working Reality

Klaus Allion, MD, ANT Telecom, considers what life will be life after lockdown

It was inevitable that we’d end up working from home and having virtual meetings with global pressures on organisations to reduce their carbon footprints and address the employee work/life balance, but the shift towards remote working has been a gradual process until now.

With more video calls, less travel and the ease of instant digital communication, combined with flexible working, businesses have been embracing the trend at their own pace. Yet, with the unexpected crisis of the Coronavirus taking every organisation by surprise, we’ve suddenly arrived at the end destination of remote working too soon, and many are not ready.

Hoping for a return to normal at the end of the crisis will see businesses fail at an alarming rate as Klaus Allion, MD of ANT Telecom contests; hope is not a strategy – businesses need to prepare now for the end of lockdown.

Inevitability of change
The harbingers of change have been on the horizon for some time, yet have suddenly become stark reality. Coronavirus lockdowns have seen air pollution levels plummet across areas that have put restrictions in place, making the case for long-term environmental change stronger than ever before. Supply chains have been hit by border restrictions, increasing demand for local production of fresh food and other goods. Business managers are recognising the productivity gains of less travel to and from work and meetings, calling into question the concept of the traditional office environment – even the traditional working week.

With change this seismic, a return to a ‘normal’ that may now not exist is looking ever more unlikely, particularly given that the lockdown exit procedure will undoubtedly unfurl over months – with differing levels of impact on different businesses across the UK.

It is, as such, imperative that businesses recognise that sound working practices to support remote working are a long-term necessity, both in terms of business continuity and employee duty of care.

Lessons from lockdown
Indeed, the initial shock of being thrust into new ways of working has highlighted – in many cases – just how ill-prepared businesses and employees have been. Home working environments and infrastructure have been re-evaluated, with organisations such as Twitter reimbursing employees for the expenses required to set up home offices. Broadband speeds for many are still painfully slow, meaning that access to tools such as reliable video conferencing has been difficult. And, in some cases, without regular colleague interaction as before, employee morale has suffered, with two in five employees feeling isolated while working from home.

And it’s not only those working from home who are impacted. Social distancing measures have caused employers to rethink both the number of tasks that are performed within the workplace and how those tasks are performed. For example, tasks that would have required two staff members due to safety concerns now need to be performed by one staff member.
With the majority of the UK workforce now effectively lone workers, how can businesses ensure their employees are working in a safe environment? How can they provide employees with the assurance that they are being protected, both to limit feelings of isolation and maintain HR compliance?

Businesses need to get busy now
Improving communications and working from home systems is now arguably essential to business continuity. Lone worker protection will increasingly become a critical factor for more organisations – from manufacturing sites to supermarket retailers. And, businesses should be considering automation technology to mitigate the number of tasks that have manual processes involved.

From automated monitoring systems that initiate home-worker employee welfare checks at specified times; to communication devices that integrate radio and smartphone technology for on- and off-site communication, as well as lone worker protection all in one device; and wireless asset condition monitoring solutions, there is now a raft of technology that can help organisations address both their employee duty of care and ensure they are well prepared to manage during the coming months.

Adapt or fail
Those businesses that are quickest out of the blocks with a revolutionary view of working, will steal a march on those stood in the corner still reeling from the punches brought about by the seismic shift caused by Coronavirus. Getting prepared now for the new ‘normal’ where business is conducted remotely as the default setting (with face to face limited to essential) relies on fundamental changes not only for business infrastructure, but also business thinking. We’ve just fast-forwarded into the future and it’s here to stay. Businesses need to adapt – fast.

How has UK Construction been impacted by COVID-19? East Midlands Consultancy gives an insider view

How has the nationwide lockdown impacted on those working in the construction industry?  Dan Bailey, partner at East Midlands consultancy, Howard Wards Associates, gave us a quick insight in this Q&A session:

1. How has the public health pandemic affected HWA?
As these are unprecedented times for businesses across all sectors, it was important that we initially took a step back to evaluate the sectors we work in, and examine which ones were slowing down and which were maintaining momentum. From the outset we wanted to be on the front foot and adjust our business strategy accordingly. As business-owners we are all used to managing and adapting to change.
We then acted quickly to equip our team with what they needed to work from home, so when government guidelines came into force, we were ready.

Since then we are lucky that we remain mostly busy and our services continue to be needed. Like many businesses, we have had to place some of our team on Furlough Leave due to some sector work being placed on hold, but we are as confident as we can be in the current situation that this is a short-term measure.

The key is to keep looking forward and those businesses who plan and prepare for post lockdown will reap the rewards. As a team we remain positive and think that that business will catch up as movement increases when government restrictions are lifted, which we believe will be gradual.

We will continue to be agile in our approach as we navigate the current crisis.

2. Are your construction sites largely still active?

Like many businesses, we did experience a quiet period whilst sites adapted to the new social distancing and hygiene measure, however for the majority of our active sites, work is progressing.

Construction material supplies have been the most challenging aspect to contend with during this time, but contractors do seem to be working through solutions well and supply is increasing with time, which will benefit the whole supply chain.

We are fortunate to have a number of substantial projects in pre-construction phases that are continuing through this, and are largely unaffected as various distance meeting and collaboration tools have been used to keep momentum going, and this has really helped us as a business.

3. How have you and the team adapted – home working/virtual calls/interaction with clients etc.?

We are a close team so from the outset we wanted to ensure that we remained in regular contact, not just for project work but also morale. We use Microsoft Teams for communication with the team and our clients so maintaining regular internal and external communications has been fairly seamless. I do wonder post lockdown how many shorter meetings will become virtual now we are all so comfortable with it.

Some of our virtual video meetings with the team have given us some light entertainment – with many of us juggling work, parenting and home schooling! It’s a welcome distraction, not to mention the impact lockdown has had on hair styles!

We have been proactively seeking and attending online networking events to maintain and build new professional relationships and look forward to when we can do these again face to face.

4. How are you preparing for when the lockdown restrictions are lifted?

In terms of HWA, the senior team are always looking ahead and planning our strategies for the future. While business plans have had to adjust or be paused during the COVID-19 pandemic, we know who we are as a business and where we want to be in the next 2-5 year. This extra time has enabled us to further fine-tune those strategies.

In terms of projects, our preparation for post-lockdown involves keeping a close eye on our sectors, and keeping open and regular communication with our team members, clients and supply chain partners, so we are ready to move swiftly when restrictions are lifted.

It is difficult to predict exactly what the landscape will look like for our industry in the coming months, but we believe that we will move past it, with a flexible and adaptable attitude. We look forward to returning to the office, seeing familiar faces, networking and of course the office banter, which has been terribly missed!

5. How do you think this will affect the construction industry over the next 6 to 12 months and beyond?

The construction industry is especially good at adapting to challenges. After a month or so of things slowing down, the industry seems to be gaining pace again.

We think the biggest impact will potentially be the length of time that attitudes to investment are affected in the private development sector. Public sector procurement doesn’t seem to be significantly affected at present in comparison.

We hope that the sourcing of materials and products in the UK will see a positive boost, as a result of any challenges this situation presents for importing goods from overseas.

6. What are you missing most both professionally and personally during the lockdown?

Professionally, I am missing the networking side of the business – getting out there and making valuable connections in the industry. I am of course missing the team, the office energy and working life.

Personally, I really miss caramel donuts and holidays!

7. Any positives for you and HWA that have come during these challenging times?

As a team we’ve experienced first-hand some of the benefits of remote working, and this is something we will likely integrate into our working routines moving forward for the benefit of the business and staff. It’s also shown us that we can certainly adapt and be flexible and that we are resilient in times of uncertainty, which will only make use stronger as a business and a team.

This new pattern of working has given me and my follow directors more opportunity to reflect on the business and to make plans for the future.
For me individually, more time spent together as a family has been really nice and my back garden looks a lot better than it normally does! I’m also liking how we are seeing more of our neighbours than we would usually do.

New handguard reduces chance of germ transfer – including Covid-19 – from everyday surfaces workers can’t avoid touching

A compact antimicrobial handguard to help prevent the transfer of viruses and bacteria, including Covid-19, from everyday touchpoints suchas door handles, touchscreens, keypads, switches and push buttons has been launched in time for the country to get back to work.

Called TouchSafe, the handguard shields hands from contact with potentially contaminated surfaces and helps prevent the transfer of germs to the face, eyes and mouth, where they can enter the body. Its convex and concave design reduces the surface area of contact by as much as 80% compared with a hand, reducing the risk of infection as well as helping to break the chain of infection to other people and surfaces. It also has built-in antimicrobial properties which kill over 80% of bacteria in just 15 minutes and up to 99.99% in two hours as well as deactivating some viruses.

The idea for TouchSafe was conceived by GP, Dr Stephen Bright, in response to the current Covid-19 outbreak and has been developed by OGM, an approved UK manufacturer of medical equipment. It grips all types of door handle, whether pushing, twisting or pulling action is required, and features a conductive nib for use on all types of touchscreens (capacitive and resistive) and keypads. It also has two push-points for switches and push buttons to prevent germ transfer to fingers.

Says Dr Bright:

“Of course, hand washing with soap and water is always the most effective first line of defence against germs but, in-between hand washing or if wash facilities aren’t immediately available, TouchSafe provides a convenient and portable extra line of protection for workers.”

The product comes with an easy clean wrist strap and is also available with the option of a retractable lanyard useful for frequent use in the workplace. It can be easily cleaned during work breaks using soap and water or by placing it in a conventional dishwasher at the end of the working day.

TouchSafe is available in bulk orders for work environments. For more information, contact mark.joel

It can also be purchased online at

TouchSafe costs £9.99 or £12.99 with the retractable lanyard. P+P is £3.50 (UK).