With the current COVID19 Coronavirus Pandemic we can understand there may be worries and concerns regarding having your staff continue to use the Fingerprint readers for your Time and Attendance and/or Access Control System. We would like to provide our current advice regarding their usage.
In the first instance and as per the current NHS and PHE advice all employees showing even the mildest of symptoms should self isolate away from the workplace to minimise risk of transmission.
With that in mind and in following the advice set out to below at present there is no reason that continued use of the fingerprint system should be restricted or ceased. Our advice is that were possible employees should wash their hands with soap, or hand sanitizer, immediately after using the device. Our suggestion is to have a bottle of sanitizer located next to the device with signage instructing employees to use it after using the device. We don’t recommend cleaning the device sensor as stronger solutions could damage the sensors however if you do wish to clean the devices please get in touch with us for ideal methods.
Using a fingerprint device is no different to touching door handles, hand rails or buttons during the normal process of moving around the work environment, in fact their use is much less than these activities during the day. As long as sensible personal hygiene precautions are followed the devices can continue to be used.
If you have employees using the devices throughout the day, for instance recording break times etc, then it may be ideal to restrict usage down to just clocking at the start and end of the working day.
We will of course continue to monitor the situation and the advice being given by official agencies. Our advice will therefore be updated if and when required,
Please also find the current advice from the fingerprint device manufacturer, IDEMIA, which ties in with our own advice above.
“In the frame of our management of the COVID-19 sanitary crisis, IDEMIA wants to share the best practices to adopt at any time regarding the use of our biometric devices and readers for biometric access control and/or time attendance, which require fingers to be applied on a fingerprint sensor surface. A fingerprint sensor on a biometric device is like any other “public” object, which is potentially touched by many different people / users throughout the day (like a door handle, a button in the elevator or on the coffee machine, etc.). Our recommendation is to instruct users to clean their fingers/hand after each usage, and not the sensor or device itself. Cleaning hands is at the core of any Health Authorities’ recommendations, among which the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Cleaning the sensor itself is not yet recommended. Apart from the practical difficulty to achieve it efficiently after each usage, it is likely to be inefficient versus cleaning users’ own hands thoroughly. Additionally, attempts to clean the sensor in an inappropriate manner (i.e. with acid or alcoholic solutions or with abrasive cloths) could damage it.”
Idemia, 9th March 2020
However if you do have any concerns or questions please let us know and we will do our very best to answer them