In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative
that every precaution is taken to prevent the spread of
the disease. At the workplace, employees may need to
use equipment and tools that their co-workers have
used. As such, it is important to stress the need to
properly tools and equipment after each use.
When it comes to tools that have not been visibly
contacted by blood or other bodily fluids, the following
cleaning procedures are recommended and should be
communicated to your employees.
SOAP AND WATER
According to guidance from the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, the virus that causes COVID-19
can live on plastic and other surfaces for up to 72
hours. Equipment can be cleaned with water and a
mild soap using a damp cloth. Following this cleaning,
tools should then be left to rest for at least three days.
DILUTED BLEACH SOLUTION
When using a diluted bleach solution, have your
employees adhere to the following steps:
1. Start by removing dirt and grease on the tool
using a damp cloth, mild soap and water.
2. Dip a second, clean cloth into the diluted
3. Wring out the cloth so that it is not soaked and
4. While holding the tool with the cloth, wipe
each handle gently. Be careful not to allow any
liquid to drip or flow into the equipment.
5. Never use any other cleaning product
alongside the diluted bleach solution.
6. Leave the equipment to dry naturally.
7. While using a diluted bleach solution,
employees should avoid touching their face
and should wash their hands immediately
upon completing the process.
Diluted bleach solutions should be made by mixing 5
tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water, or 4
teaspoons per quart.
Additionally, employees should:
Wash their hands before and after the process.
Be properly trained in the use of the necessary
personal protective equipment (PPE).
Never use flammable or combustible substances near equipment.
If a piece of equipment has come into contact with
blood, more advanced cleaning methods are required.
While efficiency and productivity are important factors
in the workplace, the health and safety of your
employees should be your top priority. The COVID-19
pandemic can serve as a reminder that taking the time
to perform proper cleaning and decontamination
procedures is a serious matter.