With Covid-19 still very much in the spotlight, forecourt retailers are being urged to help customers avoid cross-contamination and infection by offering hand-protection solutions at the pump.
Motorists internationally are being advised to wear forecourt hand-protection at the fuel pump as a first line of defence against new variants of Covid-19, including Omicron. The advice comes from GripHero, the UK award-winning public health protection business, which has been recognised at the highest level for its role in protecting the public against Covid-19.
Research shows that forecourts are high-transmission points. Here, every single day, drivers from across the country and across borders hold fuel pump handles tightly for up to three minutes. As a result, they pass whatever is on their hands to a surface that will be gripped by the next driver waiting to refuel.
By forming a physical barrier between drivers’ hands and fuel pump handles, forecourt refuelling gloves break the chain of transmission, preventing viruses, biohazards, chemicals, carcinogens, diseases and illness being passed from one driver to another.
According to GripHero, this one simple act could help to stop the rapidity of the spread of Omicron and Covid variants, which can otherwise leap hundreds of miles on drivers’ hands in a matter of hours and sit on fuel pump handles: a surface which has been proven to be over 11,000 times dirtier than the average toilet seat.
GripHero’s recognition that fuel pump handles provide a clear path of transmission led the business to dispatch over 50,000 free dispensers to forecourts on five continents, protecting an extra 60 million drivers against Covid-19. This is in addition to the 500 million motorists already protected by GripHero’s on-the-nozzle gloves, which are dispensed at the driver’s first point of contact with fuel pumps.
The decision to offer its dispensers free of charge was made by GripHero as its internationally-patented system is the world’s only static-safe, customer hand-protection product permitted in Zone 1 for fuelling, allowing its gloves to be withdrawn from the top of the fuel pump handle.
The Association for Petroleum and Explosives Administration (APEA) acknowledged GripHero’s part in slowing the spread of Covid-19, presenting it with the 2021 Health and Safety Performance Award.
Oli Yeo, inventor and Managing Director of GripHero, commented: “The Omicron Covid variant is causing huge concern among governments, scientists and health bodies. This needs to be taken seriously, especially when you consider that the first and least transmissible strain of Covid-19 was statistically shown to have contaminated the hands of over 50,000 UK drivers every day.
“What’s vital for the public to understand, is that holding a fuel nozzle handle is not a light touch. Unlike pressing the buttons on a pay pad, it’s a firm grip for several minutes. During that time the palm and fingers come into direct contact with a surface that has been touched by hundreds of other users, many of whom could have Covid-19.”