Query of the month – Coronavirus precautions when handling documents

Not surprisingly with everything happening at the moment, we had a query from an agency asking if there were any other recommended precautions people should be taking when dealing with paperwork coming into their records area apart from the standard necessary precautions and procedures advised to all.

Here’s what we said:

At this stage, we recommended that you follow advice provided from Qld Health and/or your agency in relation to precautions you need to take when handling documents during COVID19.

Within your agency, your Business Continuity Planning team and Work Health and Safety team should be considering all risks associated with COVID19.  It would be best to talk with them to ensure you safety during this time.

As a general rule, we recommend you consider handling records with disposable gloves.  Definitely do not attempt to sanitise documents with biocides, bleach, wipes, eucalyptus oil or other chemical treatments or home remedies.

Wearing P2 masks or surgical masks may help stop records getting sneezed or coughed on.  If they do, the records should be isolated, for example put into plastic zip locks to prevent cross-contamination, then follow any advice from Qld Health on viability on different surfaces in terms of how long potentially contaminated documents need to be quarantined.

People need to use caution with the use of gel-based antiseptic hand wash – always clean hands thoroughly, as recommended by Qld Heath, before and after handling records using soap, 20 seconds etc and always handle with clean dry hands.

It may also be advisable to postpone work on any large records projects that involve significant contact with the records at this time, unless it is essential.

Hope that helps if you’ve been wondering the same thing.

Have more questions? You can contact us via email, telephone (3037 6630), and Twitter, or leave a comment below.

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