Van and company car drivers have been urged to use gloves or hand protection at fuel pumps and EV charging points, to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

The call comes from GripHero, makers of the world’s only static safe and eco-friendly gloves dispensed at the refuelling point. The company says that wearing hand protection at fuel pumps will significantly reduce the speed of transmission ofCovid-19, particularly new variants such as Omicron.

GripHero recently won an award from the Association for Petroleum and Explosives Administration(APEA) for its decision to give 50,000 of its forecourt glove dispensers free to fuel stations around the world. Common sense would suggest, and scientific evidence has proven, that petrol pumps are a major transmission point of the virus. GripHero have developed their products specifically to break this chain of transmission.

“The Omicron Covid variant is causing huge concern among governments, scientists and health bodies”, says Oli Yeo, inventor and managing director of GripHero.“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.” 

Studies have shown that Covid-19 statistically contaminates at least one nozzle on every forecourt, and with the number of road users filling up in the UK, it is estimated that 50,000 drivers will be touching a contaminated nozzle every day. GripHero’s gloves are dispensed from an attachment that fits onto the fuel nozzle itself, and the gloves themselves are made from 100% recycled plastic, so have almost no environmental impact unlike many disposable gloves.

Many drivers will already be using gloves when filling up, but GripHero have warned against complacency, particularly with regards to the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

“The public have the ability to protect themselves by wearing readily available forecourt hand-protection each time they fill up”, said Yeo. “That provides an impenetrable barrier which protects the driver from touching a surface that could be harbouring Covid-19 in its many forms, as well as other illnesses. Forecourts too have their part to play in making hand-protection readily available, ideally on each and every fuel pump. 

“This one simple act could help to stop the rapidity of the spread of Omicron, which can otherwise leap hundreds of miles 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.”