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HomeFarming NewsIrish agricultural engineer joins the fight against COVID-19
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Irish agricultural engineer joins the fight against COVID-19

One of Ireland’s top livestock handling engineering companies has created a brand-new invention that could play a huge role in the fight against COVID-19.

Paul Lyons from Bó Steel has developed a new product called the Safe Key Card.

Safe Key Card

The Safe Key Card has been specifically designed to reduce the risk of contaminating hands on common touch surfaces such as door handles and keypads, especially in public spaces. Lyons said it can reduce your exposure to coronavirus and other pathogens when used properly.

Speaking to That’s Farming, Paul explained how his military past played a role in the development of the new product.

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“I used to be in the military and a former colleague contacted me. When they were going into work, they were opening a lot of doors and the directive was to pull your sleeve over your hand and we thought there must be something better than that.”

“It was a joint effort between the army and our company. The two of us designed it and he had a 3-D printer, so we tried out a few different designs. We tried about 8 or 9 different versions before we got the one that worked.”

The device has many uses, such as opening and closing doors, but Paul said its most important use is in public places with ATMs and card machines.

“The best use I see for them is in the keypads of card machines or ATMs because they’re used by everyone and anyone. As good as the banks and shops can be, there’s no way they can sanitize them after every single use.”

“We went on the radio with it and an awful lot of people got in contact with underlying health conditions or over 70 and cocooning and they thought this was a great idea.”


The feedback so far has been exceptional and has encouraged the engineer to shift momentum towards public health inventions and has added to his product list by inventing a new product called the SafeStep.

SafeStep is a simple but unique device that allows you to open a door just by using your foot or even a walking stick without ever needing to touch the door handle at all, thus minimizing the transmission of contagion and help to flatten the curve.

“No one knows how long this will go on and there are always people in society who are really conscious of germs, whether they have underlying conditions or are just really health-conscious, and they really like it,” Lyons explained.

Not only will these products help in the fight against the coronavirus, but it has also given Lyons a chance to give back.

“For every 10 Safe Key Cards we sell, we will donate 1 to a healthcare professional, someone working for the emergency services or someone who’s vulnerable. We have sent a good few to nurses and firefighters already.”

Where to purchase

If you wish to purchase either of these products are find out more, visit or

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