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Suffering, serious illness, fatalities, and sick days. Avoiding infection is in our hands.

Contractors, maintenance companies, installers, door manufacturers and specifiers can play a critical role in keeping all our people safe.

A pair of hands stretch out to the sky, palms facing the audience, and we can see the bright sunlight through the gap between the hands. The sky is a bright blue, and is clear.
Avoiding infection is in our hands.
“It’s a con – nobody needs it – the pandemic is over!” The anonymous procurement director

These astonishing words are from a director of company that supplies the NHS in a discussion of the use of antimicrobial products as a key method of infection prevention.

As far as they were concerned the problem was non-existent – in their words – a confidence trick. Just let that sink in for a moment.

Just about everyone in the medical world fundamentally disagrees – including NHS England, the British Medical Journal, The Centre for Disease Control, to name a few. And this does not even cover the astronomical sums lost in business to sick leave and loss of productivity.

The past three years seem like a bad dream from which we are now awakening and getting on with our lives. At some level, many people think that the danger is past, which may be understandable if you are under 50, fit and healthy – in other words those least at risk from infectious diseases such as seasonal influenza, rhinoviruses, and COVID-19. Also, other highly unpleasant examples such as hand-foot-mouth disease, cold sores and – sorry about this – diarrhoea.

All these to a greater or lesser extent are transmitted through Fomites – any inanimate object that, when contaminated with or exposed to infectious agents (such as pathogenic bacteria, viruses, or fungi), can transfer disease to a new host.

Research shows that in 40–90% cases, adults infected with rhinovirus (the cause of the common cold) have it on their hands.

Speaking of hands – when did you last wash yours today?

A Mintel survey found that only 72% of males aged 16-34 think it’s important to wash their hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing their nose, compared to 85% of Brits aged 55 and over.

(Another uncomfortable finding is that whilst almost all (98%) of Brits aged 55 and over believe washing hands after using the toilet is important, this figure falls just 85% of men aged 16-34).

In hospitals, healthcare, and care homes this is not an inconvenience, it can be lethal. The NHS published a 5-year strategy for infection control measures in early 2019 which covers a wide range of ongoing measures to combat opportunistic hospital infections.

Many who work in the construction sector happily fall in the younger demographic and have little to fear statistically. But the same cannot be said for the very young, older, and vulnerable people with health challenges. Or those receiving ongoing, life-saving treatment for transplants, cancer, respiratory and cardio-vascular diseases. Or perhaps they are just getting old and have less resistance to opportunistic infections.

We all have loved ones who are susceptible, and we would not hesitate to take whatever measures available to protect them. There is a simple, low-cost solution to the areas we touch the most that can harbour pathogenic organisms due to lack of hygiene and prevent diseases spread.

A hospital bed in a yellow hospital room with many machines, bags and monitors hooked up to the patient. The view of the patient is obscured by a figure wearing a protective white suit and blue hairnet, who has their back to us.

Playing your part: Antimicrobial Ironmongery for hygienic environments

Harmful microbes can remain active and replicate on the surfaces of common touch points in public buildings. This includes items such as door handles, push plates, WC indicating bolts, and washroom fittings. When specifying these items for projects in high traffic spaces such as offices, hospitals, and schools, there is a need for a more hygienic approach ­– to reduce opportunities for bacterial growth.

Research has shown that SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes Covid-19 remains active on door handles and furniture for more than 72 hours. Many other microbes including E. coli and the MRSA superbug can survive for many hours, days and in some cases even weeks on non-porous surfaces.

Antimicrobial Ironmongery is proven to inhibit the growth of most types of harmful bacteria, including E. coli and MRSA, as well as the SARS-CoV-2 virus, on the treated surfaces of these touch points. The inbuilt surface protection works 24/7 and is effective for the lifetime of the product.

This means that users of your building, whether that be staff, visitors, or other members of the public, can benefit from a more hygienic environment.

It is said that plumbers have saved more lives than doctors - History shows that it is the simplest most basic ideas that can have the most impact. Clean water and waste management for instance. It is estimated that these saved more people than vaccines and antibiotics put together.

We can play a part in keeping those most at risk safe. By making sensible decisions.

There’s no confidence trick here – just good old plain common sense.

It’s up to us. The alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.


Poole Waite’s Self-Sanitising Antimicrobial Ironmongery Range, proven to be effective against SARS-CoV-2, E. coli, MRSA, and many more harmful bacteria, offers a solution to those who wish to create more hygienic working and living environments.

Performance testing

Products from our Self-Sanitising Antimicrobial Ironmongery Range have been independently tested for efficacy against SARS-CoV-2.

  • The test results show a reduction in SARS-CoV-2 on the surface of >80% after 2 hours when compared to a stainless steel control, when tested to ISO 21702:2019.

This shows our protective coating pro-actively inhibits the growth of SARS-CoV-2 on the treated surface of our ironmongery, making these products more hygienic.

We have had our Matt Black, Matt White and Clear Coat powder coated products independently tested on their antimicrobial performance. Tests for contact times of both 10 minutes and 2 hours were conducted at an ambient temperature (20⁰C – 22⁰C), using MRSA and E. coli bacteria.

  • For MRSA, a reduction of >99.99% was achieved within 10 minutes on all types of plate. This reduction was not increased after 2 hours.

  • For E. coli, a reduction of >99.999% was achieved within 10 minutes on all types of plate. There was no recovery after 2 hours.

The report concluded that the antimicrobial technology will almost entirely reduce the microbial load of most, if not all, bacteria on treated surfaces within a short time of contact.

Poole Waite & Co Ltd is now the only architectural ironmonger in the UK to offer a complete ironmongery range with proven efficacy against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

View the range on our website


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