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As we enter the ‘post-pandemic’ era at work, a new dimension has been added to health and safety in the workplace. We’re all having to be more mindful of the safety of our work environments with the spread of a potentially deadly virus in mind.

The government has released helpful health and safety guidance notes that highlight issues you need to think about depending on your industry, operations and work setting.

These address immediate issues on how to work during the Coronavirus crisis, such as workforce management and maintaining social distancing, managing visitors, customers and contractors in your business, cleaning regimes and sanitisation, use of protective equipment and more.

But should we be thinking more long-term to avoid this scale of health disaster in the future?

It’s made us think about how we can help customers create safer premises to manage the risk of contamination and infection into the future, through the installation of tech that’s readily available now.

Heat sensing cameras

One of the easiest symptoms to detect when someone is unwell is a fever. Monitoring people’s temperature has become an effective way for many businesses to manage the safety of their team, asking those displaying signs of a fever to self-isolate for the recommended period.

This is easily manageable on a small scale for employees using a hand-held temperature device, but moving forward, it could be an option worth exploring for places where large numbers of people are permitted entry. This could include zoos and leisure parks, gyms, shops, hotels, restaurants, theatres, airports and train stations, sporting arenas and more.

It could make re-opening safely more viable for spaces such as leisure and entertainment venues and help maintain the safety of larger groups of people just about anywhere – such as shopping centres and on public transport.

While there might be some initial backlash as people get their heads around the fact they may be turned away if they have a high temperature, this could provide a long-term solution to managing the spread of infection. In the same way that we understand the necessity to have our bags checked at entry points to some venues, this could soon be accepted as the new norm.

Visitor management systems

Swap the signing-in book for an electronic visitor management system. This will not only avoid the sharing of pens and a paper log, it negates the need for a manned reception area and the person-to-person interaction on a reception desk.

These are already becoming commonplace in hotels, larger office complexes and even schools and offer great benefits for a streamlined, automated sign-in service.

Visitor management systems allow visitors, staff and contractors to sign in quickly and securely, providing photo I.D., current and up-to-date emergency lists and live sign-in information so you’re always aware of who’s coming and going.

Although many are touchscreen operated, they can still offer a safer alternative if accompanied by a hand sanitiser station and electronic screen wipes.

The added security of holding information in a secure, GDPR-compliant manner, is also worthy of note.

Contactless access control

Security access is something lots of premises already address, but many are still operated by touch. Keypads and call buttons can easily be changed to allow for completely contactless entry.

Electric gates can be opened using a mobile phone and staff can be issued with programmable key fobs or swipe cards to access factories and offices.

Membership organisations such as gyms and sports clubs can issue the same as part of the membership sign-up procedure, allowing members to gain entry without touching a thing.

Presence sensor lighting

Have you thought about how many people might touch a light switch during a working day? It could be a lot – especially in toilets and meeting rooms that aren’t occupied all the time. Or there may be storage or other work areas that are accessed intermittently.

Fitting motion or occupancy sensor lighting means switches become a thing of the past. Not only do you eliminate a potential breeding ground for germs, you can save a massive amount of money ensuring unoccupied areas aren’t left with lights blazing unnecessarily.

Virtual reality training

Once the reserve of sci-fi movies, virtual reality is now a physical reality! The real-world applications are seemingly endless, but in terms of helping workplaces post-Covid, it can offer a valuable alternative for staff training. Although it might sound like something straight out of The Matrix, staff can be prepared for limitless scenarios through programmed simulations using just a virtual reality headset. This means they can learn the ropes without the need for group training sessions.

CCTV

One thing the pandemic has also made us more conscious of is the security of empty premises. With the real possibility of operating with less staff on-site in the future, or even having periods where a premises is left completely unmanned, it is worth considering how you can maintain the security of your site. An effective CCTV system will allow you to virtually view your premises any time and from any place via your computer or mobile phone.

This can also provide a useful application for ongoing health and safety, allowing staff to view operational areas remotely and ensure safety rules and guidelines are being followed.

NLT are experts in installing and maintaining wired-tech solutions to help make your premises safer, more cost-effective and easier to manage. For more information on any of our services, please contact our team on 01827 767100.

Posted on 19th June 2020

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