MUKILTEO, Wash. — Coronavirus caused a small Mukilteo company to create portable handwashing stations that can be transported to virtually anywhere.
In the North Sound warehouse of U.M.C. Inc., it's all hands on deck, so people will be able to wash their hands a lot more often.
“(Each washing station) is absolutely needed,” said Jerry Bush, CEO for U.M.C.. “It was needed in normal times and it's definitely needed now.”
The concept is simple, really.
By selling portable hygiene stations to companies, workers on the front lines won't have to go far to keep clean.
Each station is a one-stop-shop, not only to guard against coronavirus, but to stay safe in the months ahead.
Every device features a hands-free sink, a hands-free soap dispenser, and a hands-free towel dispenser.
In an indication of their mobility, U.M.C. employees said each station could be lifted by crane onto high-rise construction projects.
“They can be lifted onto the 20th floor, 30th floor, whatever it may be to make hand washing accessible to the whole workforce,” said Steve Brooks, vice president for U.M.C.
According to Brooks, the stations can be used not only at construction zones, but also at hospitals, factories, and any other place where there's lots of people and not a lot of chances to wash up.
In just the last week, U.M.C. workers said they had received nationwide interest about the invention, including from Boeing and Swedish Hospital.
“People who aren't traditionally involved in sales are helping,” Brooks commented. “Our tool coordinator is leading our sales volume. She sold 19 of these units.”
It’s a surge in demand that's coming with a spike in supply.
Going forward, workers said they'll be able to construct 10 of portable hygiene stations every single day; all from an unassuming warehouse in the middle of Mukilteo.
“It’s really neat to see the community come together and it's great to be part of that,” Bush said.
“People just started talking about it.,” remarked Brooks. “It's a great example of social media and grassroots communication.”
Each station costs less than $7,000 a piece.
It’s a relatively small price tag during a costly time for so many people’s health.