How Technology Can Address Health & Safety Concerns
As the Omicron variant surges, it’s important that facilities consider revamping their health and safety plans to best protect their employees, property, and buildings. Many industries are already dealing with staff shortages and with the increase in COVID-19 cases even more employees will be calling out from work. During these times it’s important to ensure the health and safety of your employees while on-premises and to also equip them with the right technology so they can more effectively complete their jobs.
With less staff to keep an eye on everything happening within a facility, it’s easy to miss a problem, but with environmental monitoring, automated alerting, and health technology, facilities can better protect their employees and buildings during these difficult times.
One of the most important changes a facility can make going forward is to stay diligent when it comes to COVID-19 safety. One way a facility can help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is through daily screenings of their employees or guests who enter the premises. This can be done with a check-in kiosk where employees or guests can answer a health survey, receive a temperature check with thermal imaging, enter their contact info, and more. During the screening process, the kiosk can provide guidelines to follow while in the facility, such as social distancing and wearing masks. If the technology detects someone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, it can alert and deter them from entering the facility.
When this information is collected it’s also important that it can be quickly communicated. For instance, if an employee tests positive for COVID-19, it may be necessary to tell the entire facility’s staff. To do this quickly and efficiently, a mass notification tool can be extremely helpful. With a mass notification tool or platform, the facility is able to have all of their employees’ contact information already uploaded into the system so they can be contacted easily. With this platform, a facility operator or manager can send out a message via text, email, voice call, and more with just a few clicks of a button. These messages can be sent out to everyone or smaller specialized groups. For example, if an employee in a particular unit or location of the facility tests positive for COVID-19, it might be necessary to alert a specific group of employees that they have been exposed or that they have to follow certain protocols. With a mass notification platform, these employees can be sent a customized message telling them what they need to do. This can help mitigate the further spread of the virus and help keep employees in the loop. This tool can also be helpful because in the era of working from home it’s important that a facilities system can be used to send and receive information while not on site. With the right mass notification platform, employees can receive vital information from anywhere.
Another great tool that can help employees improve communication and workflow is the automated alerting platform. An automated alerting platform is able to integrate almost all of a facility’s existing technology in one place, allowing employees to receive alerts regarding all of their technology systems from one source. For instance, a facility can integrate its fire panel, door access control, HVAC system, water/humidity sensors, temperature control, mobile duress, and more. Taking advantage of monitoring and alerting technology is especially important during the pandemic while less staff are on-site because it can be easy to miss something like a door that was left open or a malfunctioning freezer when there are fewer eyes in the building. Instead of a minor problem turning into a major issue that can cost facilities time and money, staff can receive automated alerts directly to their mobile or desktop devices which contain detailed information regarding the situation. This allows staff to make informed decisions and react as quickly as possible to the situation at hand.
With the surge of the Omicron variant, it’s become increasingly clear that we cannot depend on the end of the pandemic occurring anytime soon, so it’s important that facilities adapt to the current situation. With the right tools, facilities can stay on top of health and safety concerns and help limit the challenges that COVID-19 presents. Not only can this relieve the burden currently placed on staff, but it can improve the overall workflow and operations of the facility.
Danielle Myers is General Manager for Status Solutions. Danielle’s expertise includes working with customers in senior living, health care, education, manufacturing, hospitality and government to design, deliver and maintain solutions for integrated alarm management and automated mass notification. She also has been instrumental in expanding the company’s U.S. channel with the addition of new voice, data, fire, security, audio-visual and managed services providers as certified resellers.