A BUSINESS offering hi-tech hygiene tests says the process could give staff the confidence to return to their workplaces as the coronavirus lockdown eases.

Tech Clean Wessex says its technology can prove that surfaces and equipment are clean and free of infections including Covid-19.

Peter Hann launched the Bournemouth-based business in the early 1980s to specialise in cleaning office equipment including computers and keyboards.

He says the new service works for any environment and measures the level of a molecule – ATP – which is in all organic matter.

A reading between 30 and 50 is the base level, with a result below 10 meaning an area is extremely clean with no chance of Covid-19, and one over 50 meaning a clean is required.

Mr Hann said ATP hygiene testing could bring back confidence.

He said: “The testing machines are hand-held and my staff simply take a sample with an ultrasnap surface swab and insert it in the machine which gives a reading.

“We can test offices and equipment, but it will work in any environment, including in schools.

“Office managers, facilities managers, HR managers and those employers who want to do all they can to re-open their business are now able to add a new level of confidence about the safety of the workplace.

“With my company’s long experience in cleaning office equipment we are ideally suited to carry out this new ATP hygiene testing.

“Previously this has been quite a specialised service for particularly sensitive environments, but now it applies to everyone as we recover from the coronavirus crisis.

“The devices use an enzyme found in fireflies, which reacts with the ATP molecules to give a reading.”

It is so far unknown exactly how long Covid-19 remains on a surface. Estimates range between three and nine days, and it depends on what materials the surface is made from.

Current government advice is that people should work from home if they can, but employers are looking at how staff can be kept safe when they return.