Protecting Your Employees and Equipment During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted on March 26, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in our lifetimes. Affecting populations and businesses worldwide; governments, institutions and organizations are providing guidelines and taking proactive steps to halt or mitigate the spread of the virus. Even as many firms have established policies and procedures that allow employees to work from home there are those that still require workers to staff the office. This means there is still the need to use and maintain equipment like printers, copiers, and MFPs. Along with CDC guidelines here are some recommendations that can ensure the safe use of technology during this pandemic.

Recommendations when using a device such as a printer, copier or MFP:

  • Users of these devices should follow the CDC recommendations for washing hands before and after touching operator screens or panels or wear disposable gloves when using the device.
  • Before and after using a device, users should use the products recommended below to wipe down any of the areas on the device they will be using, and have used, during the operation. This includes operator screens or panels and any doors that may have been opened to resupply the device or in clearing a misfeed.
  • When adding supplies and paper to printers, copiers, or MFPs, use disposable gloves or use disinfectant wipes to wipe down packaging and containers prior to adding the supplies or paper, then dispose of waste packaging appropriately and according to any guidelines the organization has established.
  • Ensure employees maintain social distance guidelines if they are waiting at the device.

Recommendations for cleaning a device such as a printer, copier or MFP:

· DO make sure the device is turned off and disconnected from the wall plug or power source.

· DO wear disposable gloves and discard after use.

· DO use a soft cloth moistened with a mixture of 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% water.

· DO wipe down the device beginning with the display screen or control panel, wiping in once direction.

· DO clean the glass on a copier or MFP with another lint free cloth dampened with a glass cleaner after first disinfecting the glass.

· DO follow CDC guidelines for washing hands after cleaning is complete.

· DON’T use ammonia, bleach-based cleaners, or abrasive cleaning powders as they can discolor and damage parts of the device, particularly operator and control panels.

· DON’T spray cleaning mixtures directly on the device. Spray the cleaning agent on cloth, then clean the device. Dispose cleaning cloths or rags after one use.

· DON’T use paper towels or tissues to clean equipment.

· DON’T forget to have adequate ventilation when using the isopropyl alcohol and water cleaning mixture and keep the cleaning mixture away from flames.

Recommendations if service on a device is required:

  • Ensure the servicing company and technician are following CDC recommendations for washing hands, contact, and sanitization and have been equipped with disposable gloves.
  • Make sure technicians are equipped with isopropyl alcohol and will clean your machine prior to servicing and before they leave.
  • If a delivery is required to replace a device, make sure that the new equipment is sanitized by the dealer and that the delivering company is following CDC recommendations for washing hands, contact, and sanitization and have been equipped with disposable gloves.
  • When supplies are delivered, ensure the packaging is wiped down with a disinfectant prior to stocking the supplies and that those who receive and stock supplies adhere to CDC recommendations for washing hands, contact, and sanitization and have been equipped with disposable gloves.

With many employees now working remotely it is critical that they be connected with other staff as well as the business applications and processes required for the organization to operate.

Here are some recommendations to ensure business continuity during this time:

  • Identify the functions and employees that can work remotely.
  • For employees working remotely, ensure the proper assets such as laptops, high-speed internet access, VPN, and all subscriptions and login information are available.
  • Provide or activate licenses for a video conferencing platform such as Webex, Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc.
  • Ensure all employees know and practice corporate guidelines regarding information/data security, email security (how to avoid phishing attacks, etc.) and other organizational security measures when working remotely.
  • Ensure regular backups of services, systems and data are done in case primary services become unavailable.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate. Make sure communication lines are open and used between customers, suppliers, management to employees and between co-workers to keep them up to date on the organization’s actions during this crisis.

Centric Business Systems has taken the proactive measures outlined above to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We offer these suggestions and encourage all firms, institutions, and organizations to take these and use as they are needed. We hope that this virus can be eradicated as quickly as possible through these actions along with following the current and future guidelines from authorities.

Whether you are a customer of ours or not, if you have any questions about any of these suggestions and how your organizations is currently responding, or how to better put to use any of these suggestions, please call us at 1-877-902-3301 or Working together we can reduce the impact of this disease on everyone.