G4S is an extensive global service provider with operations in over 80 countries and employing over 530,000 people, making it the world’s third largest private employer. Its UK operations are equally impressive with 10,000 UK customers serviced by 25,000 employees across a wide range of sectors, from security, custodial and rehabilitation services, to facilities and health management services. They look after some of the most well-known public and private buildings within the UK.
Throughout the pandemic, they have responded quickly to meet the needs of the government and public by setting up hundreds of COVID-19 testing sites, securing a number of NHS Nightingale hospitals, and providing discreet security for COVID 19 ventilator testers.
They have been equally quick to respond in sourcing new technologies to help combat SARS CoV-2 in their workplaces. Many of the facilities that they run are ‘essential sites’ providing necessary services such as power, security and healthcare, all with the limited ability to allow employees to work from home, but still needing to ensure staff safety.
While person to person transmission can be tackled through use of masks - social distancing - one-way systems - Perspex screens and online meeting tools, the transmission of viruses and bacteria through hand-surface-hand transmission is more difficult to control. During the pandemic we have become much more conscious of what we touch sub-consciously throughout the working day.
As part of the offensive against surface transmitted SARS CoV-2 (and MRSA, E.coil, Salmonella, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus to name a few) G4S has supplied and applied Liquid Guard®, a permanent bond anti-microbial coating, to high-touch points within a number of key buildings in the UK.
The results of combining nano-coating technology with a long-acting antimicrobial agent is a permanently bonded coating that facilitates a physical ‘kill’ of microbes that meet the surface. Liquid Guard has been independently proven to be effective against a wide range of bacteria and enveloped viruses, including SARS CoV-2 and influenza A. Due to its long-term antimicrobial activity (recommended to recoat every 12 months) and ease of application, it is an ideal coating for workstations, communal areas, touch screens, door /elevator keypads and IT equipment.
Before its widespread use within their facilities management portfolio, it was comprehensively tested using real life ATP swab testing, carried out by G4S in conjunction with Liquid Guard manufacturer Signo Nano-Care UK Ltd.
Through the controlled measurement of microbial activity across a range of hard surfaces and textiles before and after the coating application, G4S’s in-house health and safety team was able to present verification to their clients that Liquid Guard® had met the claims of its manufacturer.
As many ‘non-essential’ businesses look forward to the return of their employees in varying bubbles and work groups, maintaining a Covid secure environment will be a necessity for many months to come. By adopting new technologies, such as Liquid Guard, that continue to be evaluated and proven in the field, facilities managers and businesses can have confidence that their surfaces are not a source of recontamination.
Simon Mercer, Signo-Nanocare’s MD said: “Liquid Guard has an invaluable role in actively helping to break the transfer of transient microbes via hand-surface-hand contact, especially in high touch areas that are hard to clean between touches. By using Liquid Guard extensively G4S have been able to reduce the excessive extraordinary cost of moment-in-time multiple surface cleans and fogging that had been employed in large facilities , as it delivers a constant background kill of SARS CoV-2 and its variants”