The Hands-Free Door Handle, patented and produced by Jamm Products Ltd, helps premises in healthcare, education, transport, hospitality, and the food and drink industry prevent harmful infections caused by germs being passed on via door handles.
The Hands-Free Door Handle is a simple retro fit to most doors via two drilled holes, and once fitted, removes the need to touch door handles which may be contaminated with contagious germs. In addition, the Hands-Free Door Handle has a lifetime silver ion additive that prevents bacteria reproducing1, should they find their way to the handle. Its anti-ligature design has also been mechanically tested in UK laboratory conditions to withstand severe forces and is certified as a Grade 4 handle (BS8424:2004) – ‘suitable for severe duty’ – which certifies use in facilities up to prison standard.
Door handles are one of the most touched surfaces in any building2, and researchers at the University of California, found that on average, people unconsciously touch their faces 15.7 times an hour3. Touching a germ-contaminated surface prior to touching your face can lead to infection entering your body. Influenza, E.coli, MRSA, and Norovirus are all commonly found on door handles, and there is a growing list of drug resistant bugs to avoid. In fact, according to the World Health Organisation, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an increasingly serious threat to global public health that requires action across all government sectors and society.
Washrooms are a particular challenge in the fight against infections caused by germs being passed on through touching contaminated surfaces. This issue is highlighted by the trend towards ‘hands-free’ in today’s washrooms: hands-free flushes, hands-free taps, hands-free soap, and hands-free dryers. But with no guarantee that the person before you washed their hands after visiting the washroom, even in “hands-free” washrooms, the door handle is a weak link in the battle against the spread of germs and infections.
Marc Ward, Founder and MD at Jamm said: “I was asked by Adam Stringer (Product Design Consultant at Falmouth University) if I thought there was a way to open a door without touching it to prevent germs being passed on. When I started to research the issue, I was amazed to learn that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USA), 80 per cent of all infections are transmitted by hands. The issue for high traffic areas which are prone to germs, such as washrooms, was obvious. I invented the Hands-Free Door Handle to help solve this problem.”
Iain Davidson, Chief Pharmacist at The Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske said: “In hospitals, clean hands save lives and any device that helps to keep hands clean after the washing process is a welcome addition. We’ve trialled the Hands-Free Door Handle, and aside from its effectiveness, importantly, our team really like it.”
In addition to the health benefits, the Hands-Free Door Handle is also likely to save organisations money. For example, preventing the spread of germs reduces employee cold and flu absenteeism. In the UK, “The direct costs of employee absence to the economy are estimated at over £14 billion per year – and the CBI’s latest absence survey found that the average total cost to business for each absent employee is £975. These figures would be higher still if productivity lost due to presenteeism – staff attending work despite being unwell – was included as well.” – Confederation of British Industry (CBI) / Medicash report4. In the US “Unscheduled absenteeism is a chronic problem for employers, conservatively costing $3,600 per hourly employee per year, and $2,650 per salaried employee per year” CIRCADIAN5.
A more surprising cost saving is that of reducing the number of paper towels used in washrooms. They are often used by washroom visitors as a germ barrier between their hands and the door handle. The Hands-Free Door Handle removes the cost of collection, disposal and replenishment of paper towels used in this way.
Where to buy
The Hands-Free Door Handle costs GBP 25.00 incl. VAT in the UK, and USD $35 in North America, including all fixings, information and instructions.
Jamm Products Ltd is a design company based in St. Ives, Cornwall. Established in 2012, the first product was a Patented doorstop that is now sold around the World.
Other products include a kitchen device for storing eggs in order of freshness, a ‘not-for-profit’ device for moving stranded Whales and Dolphins back to the ocean, and the latest product, the Hands-Free Door Handle, designed to prevent harmful infections caused by germs being passed on via door handles.
There are 3 more products in development.
All products are made in the UK in an ISO:9001 accredited facility.
How quickly does the silver ion coating kill bacteria? The test was run over 24 hours, the 99.92% reduction was seen after 1 hour, with an 80% reduction after 20 minutes.
What if the door is a push door? ‘No door to open across the corridor (doors should be recessed back from corridor) – except a unisex toilet door where the corridor is 1800mm wide.’ – BUILDING REGULATIONS PART M 2004