The active ingredient is silver ions, which are proven to destroy bacteria, viruses, fungi and mould.

The coating is extremely tough. It will remain in place, working 24 hours a day against microorganism threats, and can only be removed by applying a special gel.

Touchpoint Shield has significant advantages over other antimicrobial surface protection systems.

Clear and durable protection Firstly, it is near-invisible so it does not affect the aesthetics of a work or customer environment. FM professionals who have considered films or clip-on devices, such as handle coverings, value this highly.

In fact, the coating actually enhances the look of most surfaces, giving them a pleasant sheen.

Its nano-particle structure makes Touchpoint Shield extremely smooth and grime repellent. This makes coated surfaces even easier and quicker to clean, reducing costs still further.

It also helps protect surfaces from scratching (the coating was first designed for luxury yachts to protect their highly-expensive hulls).

Independent laboratory test results show Touchpoint Shield reduces SARS-CoV-2 on non-porous surfaces by 99.6% and on sofa textile by 99.99%.

It reduces E coli and Staph bacteria on non-porous surfaces by 99.95% and 99.94% respectively.

High frequency cleaning surprise We did not want to stop there. We wanted to test Touchpoint Shield in the real world. Which is why we have carried out our own field trials in different environments.

These include banks, factories and leisure space, including one of London’s top theatres.

The results have been very interesting. Not least because they indicate the limitations of high-frequency touchpoint cleaning.

Using a system approved by our partner independent laboratory, we swabbed touchpoints in these spaces before and after application of the coating.

The laboratory compared results with swabs taken of uncoated touchpoints.

They showed how colonies of potentially harmful bacteria multiply rapidly just minutes after a touchpoint has been cleaned.

However, colony regrowth on surfaces coated with Touchpoint Shield was stopped in its tracks.

This showed that intensive touchpoint cleaning, for example once an hour, may be well meant, but is likely to be largely ineffective.

Broad coating application Meanwhile, Touchpoint Shield would continue to suppress the growth of bacteria and viruses, at a fraction of the cost of intensive cleaning.

The coating can be applied to many types of surfaces. Our first approach was to offer it for treating door handles,

push plates, hand rails and chair arm rests and toilet furniture.

Based in customer feedback, we have now extended that list to include work desks, equipment controls and vehicle door handles.

Our thinking, and that of our customers, has been driven by the need to enhance hygiene in the new hybrid workspaces currently emerging.

Hybrid-working is likely to be here to stay (look out for it being a word of the year at the end of 2021).

Researchers in Sweden have defined it as a new paradigm for 2020 and beyond. The focus of working will be at home, they say, with social connections and creativity developed in office spaces.

Hybrid offices are very likely to be more collaborative. There will need to be increased flexibility. Hotdesking will be the norm. Fluid teams will be expected to work intensively and closely together, then probably go away and deliver an agreed plan working remotely.

“53% of people believe businesses should do more to improve hygiene to keep people safe.”

These spaces will need special hygienic protection. We believe technologies like Touchpoint Shield will be key.

Companies will not want to employ cohorts of cleaners running around after each team meeting, disinfecting touchpoints.

Health and wellbeing solution The objects will disinfect themselves, because they are coated with Touchpoint Shield.

Standard cleaning regimes will be needed to remove biofilm from surfaces to allow the coating to carry on doing its work.

Mental wellbeing will be central to the purpose of such hygienic protection regimes.

A survey by the Independent newspaper calculated five million people were anxious about returning to work after the pandemic, just due to pre-existing mental health issues.

Another has found 53% of people believe businesses should do more to improve hygiene to keep people safe.

That ‘more’ needs to be effective. Studies show employees will want to be convinced hygiene measures actually work.

I believe Touchpoint Shield does that. It demonstrably reduces harmful bacteria and viruses on touchpoints. It is durable and long-lasting.

It also allows FMs to reduce costly enhanced cleaning regimes to normal levels while stating, with evidence, that hygiene standards are improved. TOMORROW’S FM | 41

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