Coronavirus: Hygiene measurements for the use of mobile devices

Given the rapidly evolving situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19), it is extremely important that everyone takes the measures to minimize the spread of the virus. So wash your hands regularly, do not shake hands, try to maintain social distance and work from home if possible. If it is not possible to work from home, be wise to take extra hygiene measures, also with the use of mobile devices.

Minimalizing contamination at work

While many employees are able to work from home, for employees in hospitals, warehouses, factories, stores and distribution centers working from home is simply impossible. For these organizations it is even more important to minimize the risk of contamination at work by following the governments’ guidelines.

Is there a risk of contamination via mobile devices?

In many hospitals, warehouses, factories, stores and logistics companies mobile devices, printers and voice equipment are used. Often the devices are used by several employees, working in shifts. The chance the virus will spread via objects is very small, but it is not excluded. Therefore, we recommend that you always clean and disinfect the devices properly.

What is the best way to clean mobile devices, scanners and printers?

The guidelines for cleaning a device effectively are different for every device. The equipment for hospitals contains a special housing and are designed differently than devices for retail stores, factories and warehouses.

Usually you can find detailed instructions for disinfecting your device in the user’s manual. Here you can find information about which disinfectants are safe to use for your particular device, including the purity and formulation levels for each ingredient, as well as a list of cleansers that should absolutely not be used. Also, the precautions and practical tips for handling the device during the cleaning process are described here. So always read the provided guidelines before cleaning the devices. In case you have any questions or if you cannot find your user’s manual, you can always contact our team.

General hygiene measures for the use of mobile devices

To minimize the risk of contamination through devices, we also recommend that you to take the advices from Darrel Hicks. Darrel Hicks is a nationally recognized infection control expert and provides well substantiated guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting mobile devices in his whitepaper ‘Best Practices for Infection Prevention’. The whitepaper is written for healthcare, but nevertheless provides a solid foundation for companies in all other industries by describing precautions to protect the health of employees and customers.

1. Wash your hands regularly

This advice may seem simple but is very effective against the spread of a virus. Always wash your hands before and after the use of a mobile device, scanner or printer.

2. Always clean and disinfect the device before and after your shift

Establish a cleaning protocol as soon as possible, using the OEM (original Equipment Manufacturer) guidelines so that employees routinely clean and disinfect mobile devices, scanners and printers.

3. Create awareness among your staff

Remind your employees to wash their hands regularly and disinfect their equipment by placing instructions for disinfecting and reminders such as ‘Do not forget to wash your hands’, ‘Started your shift? Disinfect your scanner first’ or ‘Done with work? Disinfect your mobile device’.

4. Clean the device before you disinfect it

The efficiency of any disinfectant is diminished when soil is present. Therefore, always start with cleaning the device with a damp microfiber cloth. Several tests have shown that this already removes 98% of the bacteria and 93% of the viruses.

5. Disinfect the device according to the instructions

To remove more dangerous and long-lasting bacteria, it is important to also disinfect the device after you have cleaned it. In order to prevent damage to the device, the disinfectant should be approved by the EPA.

  • Dampen a cloth with some disinfectant or used a pre-moistened wipe. Never apply the disinfectant directly to the device.
  • Carefully clean the entire device. Do not forget to clean the keys and the space between the keys properly.
  • After cleaning, immediately dry the display with a soft, nonabrasive cloth to prevent streaking.
  • Allow the device to air dry before using it again.

6. Prevent build-up

Disinfectants often leave a thin layer on the surface that build up over time. Therefore, regularly clean the device with isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol/IPA) to remove the remains of the disinfectant.

7. Be extra hygienic with Voice-equipment

Do you work with voice picking in your warehouse or store? Make sure that, on top of applying the measures described as above, every employee has its own earpad and microphone.

Do you have any questions?

In case the situation develops further, and any additional information or guidelines becomes available, we will update this blog. Do you have any questions? Feel free to contact us for more information!

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