Thousands of forecourts race to install hand-protection in battle against Covid-19

Covid-19 News | Manufacturing | South West

In the last week alone, over a thousand forecourts globally have taken a small Devon-based business up on its offer of providing hand-protection dispensers free to protect their customers from the transmission of Covid-19 at the fuel pump.

GripHero, the brainchild of inventor Oli Yeo, is a patented hand-protection dispenser, which sits on top of each hand-pump on the forecourt, so that the very first thing the customer touches is the hand-protection itself. This prevents customers from coming into contact with the fuel pump handle where Covid-19 could easily be passed from one driver to another.

Following the outbreak COVID-19 and its designation as a global pandemic, GripHero took the bold step of offering its dispensers free of charge to help stop the spread of COVID-19 at the fuel pump, and the response to the offer has been overwhelming.

At a potential cost of up to £3m to the business in up-front costs for the UK market alone, Oli Yeo decided that the only right thing to do was to provide the dispensers free of charge, as they are the only ones in the world permitted within the refuelling zone due to their use of ATEX-Certified anti-static materials. All other hand-protection has to be stored away from the fuel pumps as they are susceptible to static charges.

Commenting on the incredible response and demand for GripHero’s hand-protection dispensers, Oli Yeo said: ‘In the last week alone, we’ve received enquiries and orders from operators with over 1,000 forecourts internationally.

“They know full-well that when drivers cough or sneeze, small droplets of mucus are spread onto the steering wheel and their hands. If the driver were to have Covid-19, that could be easily be passed on to other users via fuel pump handles. These are hard plastic and metal surfaces where Covid-19 can survive for upwards of 24 hours. In that time hundreds of hands could pick up and pass on the virus, which is why it’s essential for all drivers to use hand-protection at the fuel pump, every single time.”

Oli Yeo added: “This is a big issue for motorists. Nobody washes their hands before picking up the fuel pump, and it’s totally impractical for drivers to wash their hands before getting back in the car and driving off. The trouble is, everybody touches their face when they drive. You can’t help it.

“The only way to address this by having hand-protection on each and every fuel pump and bay. This  avoids the all too frequent experience of finding empty hand-protection packets on forecourts. Our commitment is to continue providing our dispensers free of charge for the time being, making this a non-profit exercise that will enable forecourts to protect their customers.”

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