In just one week, more than 1,000 forecourts globally have taken up Devon-based GripHero’s offer of providing free hand-protection dispensers to protect their customers from the transmission of coronavirus at the fuel pump.

GripHero is a hand-protection dispenser which sits on top of each hand pump on the forecourt, so that the first thing the customer interacts with is the hand protection itself. This prevents customers from coming into contact with the fuel pump handle where coronavirus could easily be passed from one driver to another.

Following the outbreak of coronavirus and its designation as a global pandemic, GripHero took the step of offering its dispensers free of charge to help stop the spread of coronavirus at the fuel pump.

Oli Yeo, who developed GripHero, said he 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 it is susceptible to static charges.

He 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 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."

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 their car. The trouble is, everybody touches their face when they drive. You can’t help it. The only way to address this is by having hand-protection on each and every fuel pump and bay, so that you avoid 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".

Motorway service group and Top 50 Indie Westmorland, is one of the groups that has just started using GripHero. Andy Smith, group fuels manager for Westmorland, explained: "It is more important than ever to protect our customers in the best way we possibly can. By offering GripHero, Westmorland is playing its part in the battle against coronavirus, and is dramatically reducing wastage that other glove dispensers produce."