Leading South African truck and trailer body building company, Serco, has developed a sanitation booth in which a fine mist of people-friendly disinfectant is sprayed onto the user to help prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

 The initiative is one of Serco’s efforts to help provide solutions in the face of COVID-19.

Dubbed the Sani-Booth, the first unit has been delivered to logistics company Monteagle Logistics for their warehouse in Durban.

Serco CEO Clinton Holcroft said his company had been using the lockdown time to review its product range and fast track developments and new solutions. “One such creation is the Sani-Booth which we developed after being approached by several customers keen for a superefficient sanitation booth for use by high volumes of staff arriving and leaving work and as a method of helping ensure workplaces stay healthy, hygienic and safe.”

The walk-through booth incorporates a hands-free sensor to activate the pump and an eight-nozzle system which produces a fine mist of disinfectant ensuring a thorough sanitisation of a fully clothed person from head to toe.

The control panel has been designed and manufactured by Ikhaya Automation, and the pumps and wearable fittings are standardised for easy replacement if necessary. “We have sourced a human-friendly disinfectant solution that is mixed with purified reverse osmosis water which has been proven to kill germs,” said Holcroft.

He said in addition to the Sani-Booth, Serco had several exciting developments in the pipeline which the company hoped to introduce in the next few weeks.

Stringent safety protocols are in place at all Serco branches around South Africa to ensure work is done in a safe and hygienic manner. “It is vital to ensure we all adopt these good practices to limit exposure and the spread of the virus, including spray sanitising, temperature checking of staff on arrival, social distancing and face masks,” said Holcroftolcroft. “Furthermore, workstations have been set up with alcohol-based sanitisers on hand, change rooms and eating areas are regularly disinfected while training has been stepped up to increase awareness.’’

From an economic perspective, said Holcroft, South Africa like most countries, would have a large gap to fill when the pandemic subsided. “As a proudly South African company, Serco is committed to doing our part in rebuilding the economy. The hardship created by the pandemic on people and businesses has been real, but it could be argued that previous generations endured much worse. South Africa to some extent has had the benefit of forewarning to react proactively, based on the knowledge available from other countries which have made positive progress to combat the virus.

“It has been heartening to see many of our staff step up to the plate and display their commitment, showing initiative to run with solutions to the many new challenges.”

Holcroft thanked those employees who had been called on to provide emergency repairs to essential service customers during the lockdown and – with the introduction of Level 4 lockdown – welcomed back more staff to get limited manufacturing up and running again.

“We are not out of the woods yet, but we hope to see a speedy return to at least a ‘new normal’ over the next few months.’