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Irish Companies Innovating For The Post Lockdown World

As economies around the world relax restrictions imposed by the outbreak of covid-19, the question of how your own company will operate when it is allowed to do so is uppermost in the mind of business owners.

Apart from considering the workplace practices necessary in the new post lockdown world, many are spending quite a bit of headtime on what new product or service they can offer.

One Dublin company is set to bring a new device to market shortly which is a new take on something all of us use every day.

A door handle.

The device from Irish company KeyHygiene will allow for the opening of doors without the need to touch a door handle and help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other possible infections.

Irish Government advice is that the virus is transmittable if someone “touches surfaces that someone who has the virus has coughed or sneezed on and bring your unwashed hands to your face” and that “the virus may survive for up to 2 days if someone who has it coughs or sneezes on a surface”.

The easy-to-use device- FootHandle – is aimed at businesses who wish to offer their staff and customers protection and piece of mind as their premises begin to reopen in the coming weeks.  FootHandle has been designed by KeyHygiene as part of their ‘Back to Business’ range of products and services, and works by allowing for doors to open with users’ feet rather than their hands.

The Government’s Roadmap for re-opening society and business states that on May 18th, outlets such as homeware stores, opticians, motor, bicycle and repair outlets, office suppliers, electrical shops, phone sales and repair outlets can re-open. This list will be extended on June 8th to include small retail outlets where “the retailer can control the number of individuals that staff and customers interact with at any one time”. By June 29th organisations can open where employees “have low levels of daily interaction with people”.

While the easing of restrictions is welcome, this post-lockdown reality will require new, safer ways of working and interacting with each other and with customers. Employers and business owners will have a heightened responsibility to do all they can to keep their premises as safe as possible. FootHandle has been designed to reflect this reality.

The company, established in 2017 by Mark Butler and Neville O’Boyle and operates out of Walkinstown in Dublin.

“We are very conscious of the nervousness many business owners, staff and customers will feel as we all go back to work. We created FootHandle with them in mind. It minimises the number of surfaces a member of staff or a customer needs to touch, reducing the spread of bacteria and virus and allows them to use their foot to open any door. We have many years’ experience in the waste and hygiene industries and early in the crisis recognised the need for a product like this. We hope it can help as we all prepare to safely get the economy going again” said a statement from the pair.

Cork Company Offering Safety Know How

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OneLook Systems CEO Pat King (left) and COO Brendan Griffin. The Cork-based company is putting 12 years of international experience into its drive to get companies of all sizes back to business safely. Their COVID-19-specific product is already in operation at sites belonging to Google, Kerry Group, Diageo and others.

Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork based OneLook Systems has worked with some of the world’s best known pharma, medtech and food and beverage brands for the past 12 years.

The company’s systems – designed to keep workforces healthy and safe – have a new relevance as companies work to avoid further disruption from Covid-19 and the Munster headquartered outfit are now offering their expertise to those trying to get back operational with a new visitor screening system.

“Once the OneLook Systems solution is up and running at a site, every employee, contractor and visitor will receive an email in advance of their return/arrival.

‘This will link them to a series of COVID-19 health and safety videos and compliance questionnaires. Once these have been viewed/completed, the person will receive approval to visit the workplace. ‘

‘When the employee, visitor or contractor arrives at work the security or reception team can then simply use the system to check they are compliant.

‘The person and the company will have peace of mind that all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure every individual is fully briefed and prepared on what’s expected of them to keep the workforce safe and the site operational”.

OneLook Systems already supports brands such as GSK, Nestlé, Stryker, Siemens, Google, Kerry Group and Gas Networks Ireland to meet demanding regulatory health, safety and security standards.

The company has applied the scenarios they have worked through with manufacturing clients so that they can be applied to a wide range of businesses facing significant new demands as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

OneLook Systems Chief Operating Officer, Brendan Griffin, says “There is much anticipation building around ‘when’ companies can get back up and running, but businesses must also step back and consider ‘how’ they’re going to do that to avoid any return to a lockdown situation. They need to consider how they can safely manage employees, visitors, contractors and even customers by putting training material, access procedures and contact tracing abilities in place to prevent future setbacks”.

OneLook Systems have launched a new product ‘SafePermit FrontDoor’, which is specific to the challenges posed by Covid-19. The product builds on the company’s previous experience and introduces a series of fast and easy controls to allow businesses to meet Return To Work guidelines. It is already being used at sites belonging to Google, Kerry Group, Diageo and others.

Pat King, CEO of OneLook Systems says, “SafePermit FrontDoor will help business, HR and safety leaders have peace of mind around the safe movement of their workforce into and across their work sites. People should not have to go back to work and be afraid. Their confidence levels won’t just come from knowing that they themselves are compliant but knowing that the company has put controls in place that guarantee everyone around them is compliant as well.”

The pair have also provided a useful list of questions for companies looking to re-open.

  1. Does the company have an updated Covid19 policy?
  2. Is that policy understood by staff and visitors to their business premises?
  3. Is there an easily adaptable training system in place?
  4. Is that policy enforceable, and by whom?
  5. Can the policy be easily updated in tandem with the latest public health advice?

Their SafePermit FrontDoor product can support companies as they address these key questions.

The idea to start OneLook Systems was born after both Pat and Brendan noticed there was often a line of people waiting to get a permit to work outside the facilities managers office of the pharma company where they worked.

There was a clear need to find a solution that would get people working quickly and safely.

Twelve years later, OneLook Systems have a global presence, with their products being used by the world’s top companies all over the globe.