Whether it’s your nth time to get a laser printer or your first time to get one, you might find yourself curiously asking, “What should you never do when working on a laser printer?” to maximize your unit. Or, perhaps you’ve heard some rumors you wanted to verify.
Well, this article has your back and will share to you the do’s and don’ts at various standpoints, from operating your laser printer safely to promoting smooth working relations.
Here are a few things you should not do when working on or with a laser printer:
If you took time to read the user manual before using your laser printer, then chances are you have come across a warning not to connect a laser printer to a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) unit or something to that effect. So, why the restriction?
First, let us know what a UPS is for. A UPS is a device that lets your appliance, mostly a computer, to run for a short time when electricity is out. It buys you enough time to save your work. And when the power suddenly gets back up, it protects your appliance from a power surge. Sounds like a handy and trusty device!
But apparently, when laser printers are turned on, especially the high-volume types, they draw a high current to heat up their fuser roller, which a typical UPS cannot cope with. The inrush current at start-up can be seven or more times than the printer’s average operating current.
In short, laser printers use a lot of power. In fact, there are reports of laser printers causing voltage sags in power circuits. This is manifested by lights suddenly going dim for a moment in the building. So, it’s easy to see how connecting a laser printer to a typical UPS, which is not able to supply the right amount of power, may damage your unit.
If you love the benefits that a UPS device can provide, then you have to buy one that’s compatible with your laser printer’s needs. Unfortunately, they can be quite expensive.
Got an officemate who refuses to be in the same room as the laser printer? Don’t be quick to brand that officemate as superstitious. While research points to different directions on the safety of laser printers, it’s better to err on the safe side. So, what is this thing about laser printers that you should know about?
According to some studies, laser printers can pollute your office space with dusty, fine particulates less than 0.1 micrometers in diameter. These are from the printer’s toner or solid ink.
An initial study in 2007 reveals that VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are released into the air when the toner and paper pass over the hot fuser roller. The VOCs then react with ozone in the air, condense, and become ultra-fine particles. It also showed that the hotter the temperature of the printer is the more particles are produced.
Comparing these tiny specks of dusts with fine particulates released by vehicles, researchers posit that they may be some form of air contaminants that can harm your health. While it has been established that laser printers indeed create a shower of fine particles, it is still debatable whether they really are harmful.
Plus, we do know that toner contains potentially hazardous compounds, including styrene, ethylbenzene, and xylene isomers. Thus, it’s best to keep exposure to the toner to a minimum. It’s also important to note that toner particles are so fine that it may take 15 minutes for them to settle—hours if you’ve got fans or air-conditioners on.
Since findings are not conclusive and laser printers are an office fixture that can’t be done away with, the advice is to put the printer away from the workstation and where there is good ventilation. Some offices opt to station laser printers at the corridor where there is good ventilation or shut them in a dedicated room.
Additionally, avoid standing over the printers while it prints, and do not sit next to a heavily-used printer. Plus, when you are cleaning a laser printer, don a mask particularly the type used for painting and sanding. It’s best to do cleanups in a well-ventilated area as well.
Besides the safety issues, you have the ‘social’ concerns involving the use of laser printers. While there are no clear-cut, set-in-stone rules for these, as is often the case for social etiquette, these guidelines are anchored on basic courtesy. Skirt them, and you’re sure to find yourself in a hot seat or wondering why you’re getting the cold treatment.
Here are a few things to remember regarding that super busy office printer:
Noticed there are a few papers left in the tray after you’ve collected your documents? Or that the ink or toner is running low during operation? Take your time to replenish or replace them. Keep the workflow going smoothly by doing your part. Don’t expect the next person to notice and do it.
If you’re trying to beat a deadline, then it feels like you’ve reached a dead end when you have to wait for that officemate who’s printing a 200-page document to finish. Show your officemate some consideration when you’re the one with a massive printing job to get done.
Maybe you will not hear from your boss for other printer-related faux pas, but this can get you into trouble. While it is tempting to think that one or two prints are a small matter, it isn’t. If everyone has the same mindset, then personal prints can add up over time and put a dent in your company’s budget. Besides, it’s irritating to have a personal print on queue when there’s actual work to get done.
We hope you’ve found helpful information on this explainer on what should you never do when working on a laser printer. If you’ve got other information or tips to share, then feel free to write in the comments section below.