With the current issues around COVID-19 and the ease at which transmission can occur, we wanted to put some tips together on how to avoid spread within workplaces (especially essential services) that use shared equipment, tools and PPE.
- Test and Measurement Instruments and Tools that are shared should be regularly wiped down and sanitised after use. Be sure to be thorough around buttons and under battery hatches. If your regular cleaning product is unavailable, the government is recommending 80% methylated spirits / 20% water, as a suitable cleaning agent.
- Electrical PPE such as gloves and sleeves should not be shared as a general rule for hygiene reasons, but especially during COVID-19. The same cleaning agent can be safely used on electrical PPE. 100% metho is regularly used at a smaller scale, to remove old date stamps by our testing technicians.
- Fall Arrest / Height Safety / Lifting equipment cannot be cleaned in the above manner as manufacturer recommendations will in most cases clearly prohibit the use of such solvents and chemicals on this type of equipment. We recommend not sharing such equipment as this will be extremely challenging equipment to sanitize. Most manufacturers recommend washing with a sponge and warm soapy water only. If lifting equipment must be shared between a crew, use gloves when handling this equipment.
- Arc Flash PPE is often shared, especially when it comes to higher category suits such as NFPA 70E Category 4 (40cal/cm2+), or faceshields as required under AS/NZS4836. We recommend this does not occur during a pandemic. Normal laundering or spraying garments with a disinfectant like Glen 20 is not believed to be highly successful at getting rid of COVID-19 on surfaces such as fabrics. We recommend industrial laundering and sanitisation on garments if they must be shared. Arc Flash faceshields need to be cleaned with non-aggressive chemicals so as not to attack the integrity of the shield – glasses cleaning handy wipes are approved by most faceshield manufacturers.
The above is a guide only to get your thinking about equipment cleanliness and hygiene during the COVID-19 outbreak. Always double check manufacturer’s recommendations and cleaning instructions as this may vary from brand to brand.
During these times we ask that all equipment be cleaned in the above manner before it is presented to testing companies such as Mobile Test n Cal, and that any equipment belonging to a confirmed COVID-19 case is to be quarantined and not presented for testing for the Health and Safety of testing technicians.
As always, additional to the above measures, general hygiene recommendations apply. Washing hands after using equipment, and not coughing or sneezing on equipment during use is extremely important.
If we’ve missed any points you would like us to cover, please comment and let us know your situation! We will be closely monitoring, editing and updating this information in response to any questions.