GripHero produces and donates PPE face shields to NHS


Award-winning fuel-nozzle mounted hand-protection dispenser manufacturer, Devon-based GripHero, is working around the clock to produce free protective face shields for frontline NHS staff during the coronavirus pandemic. These will be dispatched to a central collection centre in Sheffield before being distributed to hospitals across the UK.

Following the outbreak COVID-19 and the shortage of protective wear for medical personnel in the UK, the Hatherleigh headquartered business has been manufacturing and assembling protective face shields to help frontline NHS staff stay safe from the potential spread of Covid-19.

Using their in-house 3D printers, combined with PrusaPrinters’ downloadable face shield design, approved by the Czech Ministry of Health, the company is well on the way to producing 200 face masks in just four weeks.

The PRUSA RC3 face shields are made from Polylactic acid (PLA) material, which provides a strong protection barrier from infectious droplets entering the eyes, nose and mouth of staff.

This is the latest step taken by GripHero to combat the spread of Covid-19. Just a month ago GripHero took the bold step of offering its fuel-nozzle mounted hand-protection dispensers free to forecourts internationally to help stop the spread of Covid-19 at the fuel pump. The response to that offer, which in the UK alone could cost the business over £3 million, has been overwhelming with thousands of forecourts signing up to protect motorists by installing GripHero’s dispensers.

Commenting on decision to help meet demand for NHS PPE, Oli Yeo, GripHero’s creator, said: “With our 3D printing capability, we realised that we could play an active part in PPE production. Now, it’s a matter how quickly we can make the masks and get them out to frontline staff and key workers. With a huge effort from our team, all observing strict social distancing, we have been able to produce 140 face masks to date and we plan to keep up production for as long as it is needed.”

Oli Yeo added: “Our ethos at GripHero is to protect individuals from the potential spread of infection and viruses when fueling their vehicles, so it seemed natural for us to step up to the plate and play our part in helping to develop more PPE equipment when the UK needs it most.

“While a small offering in the grand scheme of things, if each face shield helps a frontline doctor or nurse from putting themselves at greater risk than necessary, then every little helps.”

GripHero’s patented hand-protection dispenser sits on top of each and every hand-pump on the forecourt. A revolution in protecting motorists from the transmission of illness, chemicals, fuel residues and carcinogens found on fuel pump handles, GripHero enables drivers to withdraw hand protection from the fuel pump handle that they are about to touch. This prevents motorists from coming into contact with the fuel pump handle where Covid-19, harmful bacteria or other substances can easily be passed from one driver to another.

Independent research commissioned by GripHero, shows that over 80% of drivers regularly fill up without using hand-protection because they can’t find gloves, or because standard dispensers are empty.* Fitting GripHero hand-protection at every refuelling bay, and in particular on each fuel pump nozzle, helps put a stop to this problem.

Through GripHero’s innovative use of ATEX-Certified anti-static hand-protection material, all chance of ignition caused by static has been removed, enabling its dispensers to be placed on the fuel nozzle itself and in the refueling zone.

Fitting GripHero’s high-efficiency dispensers – which dispense on one item of hand-protection at a time – prevents clumps of gloves being taken, increasing capacity, preventing unnecessary waste and putting an end to hand-protection shortages. It also stops clumps of gloves being stuffed back into traditional dispensers on bins and pillars, which could lead to the transmission of Covid-19 when the next driver withdraws a glove touched by previous motorists.