A Derby-based engineering business is on a mission to get the UK working with the creation of a new foot-operated door handle as part of its response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Dubbed the ‘Footle’, by the team at Melbourne’s Acres Engineering, the new hands-free-handle avoids the risk of infection by reducing contact with door handles, providing a germ free option when accessing areas with ‘pull doors’
Luke Parker, Director of Acres Engineering said: “Since the crisis began, we have been adapting our production line to ensure we have the capacity to manufacture essential products that will support both manufacturers and key workers.
“Our team have been coming up with some fantastic ideas, including a Health Station Safety Screen which we are proud to have turned around within a week of a customer request. It is already being used, helping to reduce the spread of infection and helping companies to reduce risk for front line workers along with our safety screen product.
“However, we also wanted to be able to help smaller businesses who are really struggling with access and safety, particularly in our local area. We were exploring the possibility of creating a hands-free access solution and thought that a foot-operated ‘handle’ would make a simple yet effective addition to many businesses, especially during these challenging times.
“Forgive the pun but in the current climate every step should be taken to ensure possible transfer of COVID-19 is minimised. This will not only significantly reduce the spread of infection but will reduce the amount of time spent disinfecting doors.”
Luke concludes: “The Footle is a solution that will really help our neighbours here in Melbourne – for whom we will be providing Footles for free – and across the country for a small charge.
“Strangely enough, there was a similar story emerging recently of a tech company over in Australia repurposing wall-brackets to use as a foot handle and would you believe it, they were based in Melbourne, Victoria. It just goes to show that great minds think alike, whatever the distance between us.”
Acres have already installed the first Footle in Melbourne’s Spa shop and Melbourne Art Festival Pop-up shop on Derby Road.