When it comes to taking precautions to protect your staff from COVID-19 infection, there are several things that you can do. These include maintaining proper social distancing, wearing facing masks, and yes, sanitizing your office equipment. The latter is critical as it represents one of the weakest links in your anti-COVID-19 defense.
For example, a leased copier or printer that is used by the whole office can be a deadly transmission point. Despite the best social distancing measures, people could still get infected through such office equipment. Taking this into account, here is a step-by-step guide on how to sanitize office equipment. We also guide you on other measures that you can take to make the use of office equipment safe for everyone.
Before you sanitize office equipment, it is important to ensure that the equipment is clean. The difference between cleaning and sanitizing is that cleaning removes dirt and grime while sanitization is aimed at destroying pathogens. You should not sanitize before you clean as sanitizers work more effectively on clean and dry surfaces. You can use a soft cloth to remove dirt and grime on the surface of the office equipment. Before sanitizing, ensure that you have also washed your hands with soap and water. Alternatively, you can use gloves to ensure that your hands do not contaminate the surface that you are cleaning. Ensure that you have a sanitizing solution that has more than 70% alcohol content.
Areas to Focus On
Office equipment is different and the procedure to sanitize each piece will differ. The single unifying concept is to focus on areas that are usually touched the most. For example, a keyboard will see more contact on the keys rather than the under-side. The buttons on the copier are more likely to be contaminated than other parts of the machine. These are the areas that you should focus on. Wipe the areas gently with a soft cloth dipped in the sanitizing solution. Avoid using too much liquid as it may get into the equipment and cause damage. Screens and interactive displays can be sensitive to sanitizing liquids so you can use a micro-fiber cloth instead.
Things to Note
Soap and water may be effective in cleaning hands, but it does not work well on office equipment. Worse, soap and water are far more likely to damage your precious office equipment. The other thing to note is that if you are using a micro-fiber cloth to clean your screen, make sure to use different ends of the cloth as you move along the screen. This is to avoid recontamination.
There are many other ways to ensure that your office equipment does not become a health hazard. To use the example, we gave earlier about a printer/copier, you could consider upgrading your copier to a networked system where individuals can print from their workstation, and simply collect the printed output from the hub. This reduces the number of people operating the copier/printer directly and thus minimizes the risk of infection.
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