27 Nov 2020

Considerations and innovations in hygiene, health & safety

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic the world we live in has changed, as has the way in which we buy and sell products. With new challenges to overcome, we have seen innovations across many industries, with new technologies emerging to improve and adapt the products we use to incorporate hygiene and enhanced safety measures.

Broadly speaking, six months ago bringing a product to market was all about safety, regulations and legislation and buying a product was all about price point, the Brand, and terms & conditions. In 2020 the world changed as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic, as did the way in which we buy and sell products, whether to an end consumer or business to business.

During the global lockdown, we have all encountered new experiences and, living through these unprecedented times, we have all learned new things about ourselves and the world around us. Who knew that mathematics got harder when you got older, not easier? And that teaching children really was a skill we would all be prepared to pay a lot of money for? Did we anticipate that being confined to our houses would bring uncertain times, but memories and moments that would have never been possible otherwise? From virtual GP sessions to virtual team meetings, the world around us has evolved and adapted at pace to transform the way in which we work and live our lives.

Intertek recently announced that there are significant and numerous opportunities in many areas to help foster a better and safer world for all post-COVID-19, ranging from:

  • Safer, more diversified supply chains with greater traceability, improved intelligence and increased resilience
  • A lower carbon economy, stay-local lifestyles, more remote working, distance learning and online shopping
  • Better personal safety, higher health, hygiene and wellbeing standards and greater investment in healthcare.

Innovation is essential to respond to the changing demands this current environment has created. We have seen quickly emerging innovations in remote working and virtual connectivity, as well as the social evolution of health and hygiene. Being hygienic is no longer something that is just a good habit, but the very thing needed for survival. The sphere of hygiene has expanded beyond the former, which we now consider to be basic practices, to the latter which is wrapped around  processes and products –meaning every environment we are exposed to and every product that we touch now needs hygiene measures incorporated into the product.

At Intertek, our electrical specialists have seen a sharp rise in the number of products requiring performance validation, from escalator and handrail sanitizers in public spaces using real time swabbing and analysis, to the validation of the antibacterial properties of high touch surface materials. Understanding how to validate and market the differentiating features of your product can be a minefield for manufacturers especially when it comes to health and hygiene.

The first pandemic in a global, highly connected world has shown the increased need for risk-based quality assurance and the solutions that Intertek offers help make the world a better and safer place. Intertek has been working hard to support our customers through this innovation journey - whether it is redesigning, adding additional features or validating performance of existing features – and believes that this focus on health and hygiene will become a new requirement across any electrical device or product.

Download our white paper for more information on how we can support manufacturers in ensuring their products incorporate health, hygiene and safety measures or contact us.  



Hannah Gibson,
UK Electrical Head of Sales


Hannah has worked for Intertek for over 7 years, and has over 10 years' experience in the Testing, Inspection and Certification (TIC) industry. Originally joining the company as a Business Manager, specializing in the performance benchmarking, validation and marketing claim substantiation, Hannah is now Head of Sales for Intertek's UK Electrical business. She is focused on developing strategic partnerships with our clients, ensuring we truly understand their immediate and long-term initiatives - building robust and long-standing relationships to foster growth for all.

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