How to Keep Office-Imaging Equipment Safe for Returning Workers

Across the globe, many economies are re-opening, with many office workers returning to work. In the following blog post, Drew Smith director of Communications for Copiers Plus in North Carolina, discusses safe practices for using printers and copier/MFPs in the office in the age of COVID-19. Among his recommendations: sanitizing copier/MFPs and printers, and pull-printing – that is sending print jobs to storage for printing at a later time, when there are fewer or no other employees at the device.

For a look at Konica Minolta’s Return to Work program that also addresses how employees can safely return to work, see our article here.

One thing that it will probably be key to stress is 1) do not use bleach on office equipment, and 2) when sanitizing printers and copiers, never directly spray the device – instead, wipe it down with wipes alcohol-saturated wipes.

Following is Smith’s instructive blog post:

“With the ongoing pandemic of the coronavirus (COVID-19), many offices are asking how to effectively stop the spread of germs and keep employees safe. Keeping office equipment like your copiers and printers sanitized and practicing social distancing is critical to ensuring your staff can stay productive while also limiting risks of spreading germs.

Office Equipment Sanitation Practices

  • Wipe down the touchscreen, buttons and any other commonly touched places on the device with a damp cloth. Most household cleaners are acceptable to use except pure bleach. It Is also imperative that you do not spray anything directly on the device as it could seep into the inside of the machine and cause costly problems.
  • It is a good idea to have a hand sanitizer station next to your office’s shared copier so staff can clean their hands after each use.
  • Setting aside a few times a day to wipe down the copier with alcohol wipes is a good practice to implement.
  • If the shared copier is in high demand and you do not have a printer in your office, one way to practice social distancing and ensure you still get your prints made is to utilize your copier’s job storage. Go into your printer properties and find the job storage option. This feature will allow you to pull your print job from the device at a later time when the foot traffic has gone down.
  • Each work environment is different. For some, masks and gloves may be readily accessible and encouraged. If so, incorporate them into your interactions with shared devices.
  • Consider using the shared copier at certain points in the day versus every time you may need to scan or print. By doing this, you can limit the amount of times you could be exposed to germs from a shared device or interactions close by.

  What to Avoid

  • Try to be cautious of the environment around you and limit the amount of close interactions you have with people when utilizing your equipment. If there is a line at the device, stand back at least six feet until the person has completed their session.
  • Bleach on your copiers and printers is not recommended and can damage the devices. Though household cleaners with bleach are acceptable.
  •  Avoid cleaning the internal units of a copier, especially with any type of liquid.
  • If you are sick, consider staying home or avoiding the shared copier or printer if possible.

 While there is no guarantee that these practices can keep you from contracting the coronavirus, they will help you put your best foot forward in protecting yourself and others who may be more at risk. If you have further questions about how to utilize your office equipment in the wake of the coronavirus please reach out to us online or at 800-648-7081.”

More Resources

June 2020: Konica Minolta’s COVID-19 ‘Return to Work’ Program Designed to Keep Workplaces Safe


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