Hands-free mobile wash stations show how private companies are providing solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic

By ALEC ZIMMERMAN  | 
Jul 13, 2020
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says hand hygiene is a simple, yet effective way to prevent the spread of pathogens and infections.

Proper hand hygiene includes the use of alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol or handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. While the precise effect of handwashing on reducing the spread of COVID-19 between individuals is unknown, laboratory data shows that ABHR in the CDC recommended concentrations inactivates SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizes that infection prevention and control, including hand hygiene, is crucial to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Source Engineering is a design-build company that manufactures material handle equipment, custom fabrication, and control panels. It has spent the last several months providing businesses and schools in the Whatcom County area with hands-free mobile wash stations. Their company’s innovative wash stations provide an alternative to conventional handwash stations in difficult installation locations.

The company makes five unique mobile wash station options. The Basic Single Barrel, Single Barrel, Double Barrel, All Stainless Steel, and the Four-Person Stainless Steel Wash Station. All five handwashing stations offer the ability to wash hands without touching any shared surfaces, operate without plumbing, and can use a water hose hook-up.

The mobile wash stations’ hands-free design is beneficial to Washington residents for several reasons, including streamlining the dispensing process across stations, delivering standardized amounts of soap and paper towels, while eliminating the common contact points of handles, hand-levers, and pumps, helping prevent the spread of germs.

Mobile wash stations should be expanded to schools and businesses throughout the state to ensure the access and ability of regular handwashing. Moreover, as the state progresses through the Safe Start Washington plan and with the reopening of additional businesses, the mobile wash stations can be used in a wide variety of public settings to ensure safety. The hands-free washing stations, depending on occupant capacity and need, can be placed at the main entrances of buildings and bathrooms to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Further designs and capabilities should be researched to fit the unique needs of different businesses, schools, and other public areas while maintaining hands-free use.

The government cannot solve the COVID-19 health crisis on its own.  Both immediate and long-term solutions can only come from the creativity of the private sector and thousands of companies are working toward that goal.

Source Engineering is just one example of the ability of innovators working in the free market to meet public safety innovation demands.

Learn more about Source Engineering and their custom work/innovation here.