By Tara Gibson - August 18, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic continues to impact businesses and organizations around the world with many employees working from home due to unsafe conditions. On top of the pandemic, there has been nationwide civil unrest with protests and riots occurring in major cities - sometimes leading to violence - which has been a concern for businesses trying to protect their workers. For this reason, innovative technologies have been introduced and highlighted to ensure workplace safety.
Many businesses shuttered their doors and sent workers home back in March, with some corporations functioning so well remotely they’ve canceled office leases and have made the switch to a completely remote workforce. But, for businesses that require employees to come to work - such as those in the manufacturing, retail, healthcare, and restaurant fields - they’ve had to find and leverage different tools to guarantee workplace safety amid today’s current climate.
Day-to-day operations have been completely disrupted with the pandemic and other recent events, which have impacted the supply chain and a reduced workforce. We’ve now all entered and somewhat embraced a post-COVID workplace. Eventually, there will be a vaccine or the virus will be controlled, but by the time this happens employers will likely have many new regimens in place for managing and protecting their workforces, according to Kiosk Marketplace.
Here are just some technology tools workplaces have implemented to protect their employees:
Some companies have invested in non-contact temperature scanning or thermal detection technology used as an initial check for those entering the workplace. One of the symptoms of COVID-19 is a high temperature, so for businesses investing in this technology the use of temperature scans and thermal detectors could reduce the risk of spreading the virus. The FDA explains that non-contact devices can quickly measure and display a temperature reading evaluating employees individually at points of entry. Because these devices are non-contact, very little cleaning is required between uses.
One business, BioPPE, has created a line of hygienic products including Bluetooth-enabled, thermally cooled antimicrobial face masks; no-touch personal protective equipment dispensers with health data collection capabilities; UV-C disinfection containers; and more, all designed to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and provide employees with safe PPE products. Kiosk Marketplace explains that by using voice-enabled technology these products are linked by a crowdsourced network system, which supports organizations in maintaining health standards with anonymous data collection capabilities for both wellness check surveying and contact tracing.
Visitor management amid today’s current public health crisis is extremely important, especially with how fast the virus has spread - and continues to spread - across the United States. By using a contactless visitor check-in technology, employers have access to a hygienic and touch-free way to register visitors in the workplace, reducing the need for interaction.
For example, some of these businesses require visitors, contractors, or customers to sign in by scanning a QR code with their mobile device camera, which then prompts them to complete a registration on their phone. A visitor then is checked in without having to interact with anybody else, further preventing the spread of the virus. Businesses will have access to a comprehensive list of any visitors in the workplace, which is helpful when it comes to contact tracing efforts if there was ever an outbreak of the virus within the workplace.
A mass notification solution is a crucial technology tool amid the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. With mass notification, users can send out broad and customizable communications to employees with just three clicks providing critical information surrounding the pandemic and events occurring in the area, what workplace policies have been updated, and helpful resources for employees who may be having a difficult time. Employers can also instill confidence by sending out updates on their emergency preparedness and response plans as well as the current status of the company.
Some comprehensive mass notification solutions also have the ability to send out wellness checks and have check-in capabilities to ensure the safety and security of employees with a polling feature. Automated messages can be sent to those who may be in quarantine to check on their health status, and then provide them with proper guidelines when it comes to returning to work.
This year there has been a predicted above-average hurricane season, as well as a lot of civil unrest around the country. In some geographic areas, automated weather notifications have two event filters called “Civil Danger” and “Civil Emergency” which notifies individuals immediately if they are in a certain area. Collaborating and connecting with a workforce can easily be done with a comprehensive mass notification solution, which has proven to be extremely useful during this uncertain time.
An employee safety app is another helpful technology tool that is being leveraged by companies navigating the pandemic, hurricane season, and more. For workers who have a commute, especially during a time of civil unrest and a large amount of uncertainty amid COVID-19, an employee safety app with a safety timer feature is an extremely useful tool to address any safety concerns when arriving and leaving work. With a fixed time for both departure and arrival, the virtual escort will notify security or a selected recipient if the employee does not reach the destination on time.
For those who are in danger, help is not far away. With the push of a button, an employee can connect directly with 9-1-1 to receive an immediate emergency response. Employee safety apps also have two-way communication capabilities, which can allow them to confidentially report anything concerning, such as a suspicious person entering the building or a coworker failing to comply with social distancing requirements.
Tara is a Marketing Coordinator on the Rave Mobile Safety marketing team. She loves writing about all things K-12, State & Local, Higher Ed, Corporate, and Healthcare, and manages the Rave social media channels. When she's not working, she's taking care of her smiley, shoe eating, Instagram-famous fur baby, Enzo!
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