The COVID pandemic has made even the most laid back among us more than a little paranoid when it comes to germs, bacteria, and viruses. We are all worried, and rightfully so.

However, if necessity is indeed the mother of invention, then there are some pretty awesome innovations which have come out of the craziness of 2020. From German shoppers sporting pool noodles on their heads to comply with social distancing to PPE vending stations in Belgium, they range from the bizarre to the ‘why didn’t I think of that?’

Our favourite invention, though, has to be the UV LED steriliser which combats escalator bacteria.

Is Escalator Bacteria a Thing?

How Stuff Works has a few thought-provoking thoughts on escalator handrails. 

They say, “Recent research suggests that escalator handrails fall just behind restroom sinks and food court tables as the filthiest objects in a mall. When scientists have tested the hard rubber cover that makes up a rail, they’ve found a menagerie of disgusting items — food, blood, mucus, urine and feces. They’ve also found potentially pathogenic bacteria, such as E. coli and bugs common to the upper respiratory tract [source: Dineen].”

So, that sounds disgusting. 

CBS News adds, “And where there is mucus, you may also find cold and flu viruses.” Tierno concurs: “We’ve found respiratory flora on handrails,” he says, “which makes sense because people cough into their hands, then touch the rails.”

We are currently sanitising our hands, trolleys, shopping, shoes, and clothing after a visit to the local mall. 

But nobody seems to be overly concerned about the germ-fest going on with the escalator handrails.

A Clever Way to Combat Coronavirus

If the thought of all those nasties on the handrails on escalators in malls has been niggling you, then you’ll be thrilled to learn about an ingenious innovation to stop these lurgies in their tracks. 


GHI’s new ClearWin device is an unobtrusive yet incredibly effective way of decontaminating escalator handrails. 

How does it work? 

“GHI’s new, easy to install, ClearWin device has been designed to sterilise the handrails by continuously disinfecting the rails during the operation of the escalator.  When the escalator starts operation, the steriliser starts working immediately. 

The Handrail UV LED Steriliser is designed to wipe out 99.99 per cent of germs on the surface of a handrail.  The product blocks any sources of infection from spreading by completely destroying the DNA of germs via UV LED light with a wavelength of 278nm.”

Ultraviolet (UV) light kills cells by compromising their DNA. It does this by creating a reaction within the cells which effectively destroys the molecular bonds holding the cell together. 

This light-based sterilising system is harmless to the human body with no harmful chemicals or heavy materials being involved, which will come as a relief to those of us who feel like lab rats with the number of chemicals we need to douse ourselves in during a shopping trip.

GHI says, “The steriliser is just half the size of a piece of A4 paper and can be attached to a standard escalator without making changes to the existing facility. 

“The device also has the added benefit of generating its own power supply through the movement of the handle, thus eradicating the need for wires and direct electricity. As a result of such, the running costs are removed.”

UV light has been used for decades to sterilise medical equipment, PPE and even water. Companies are exploring the possibility of low-level UV light in public spaces to help keep the air clean or positioning a system within the air handling equipment in malls and offices to help to purify the air. 

Get Your Hands on ClearWin

The protectors of public spaces simply cannot be too careful when dealing with the health and safety of their patrons, especially now in a time of global crisis. 

Eliminating a huge source of bacteria and viruses on escalator handrails will certainly go a long way towards keeping us all safe. 

Please feel free to contact GHI for more information on where and how to get your hands on the ClearWin system.