A Holistic Approach to Keeping Your People Safe
Unfortunately, Covid 19 does not seem to be going away. So, given that this is a fact, and considering that here, in the northern hemisphere, we are approaching winter when the whole family of coronaviri [more "common" flu's as well as COVID 19] are generally more prevalent, and infectious, then what can companies that want to reopen do?
Fortunately there are solutions, and eClear, by eConnect, is one of them.
When employers wish to reopen they have to consider what they can do to keep their people, staff as well as visitors and customers, as safe as possible; and to give the staff at least, the sort of sense of security that is going to make them want to come back to work. A CBS poll showed only 44% of employees were comfortable returning to work.
In this a holistic approach that takes account of the "whole" safety and infection mitigation process is clearly superior to one that does not. Therefore, there are a few things that need to be considered:
• A pre-shift screening questionnaire.
• Fever detection once on the premises.
• A zero-touch clock in method.
A pre-shift screening questionnaire is, almost, a must have. Or, rather, in some states is a must have. You want employees, and possibly visitors too, to attest that they are not suffering from the most common symptoms of COVID 19, or any flu strain, type infection. Has their sense of smell, or taste, changed? Or even been lost? Do they have a persistent dry cough? Are they suffering from a fever? The earlier that these questions are asked, and then re-asked on a regular basis then the easier it is to mitigate harms or disruptions.
Once staff have arrived at work, even if they have attested that they are completely healthy, or at least show no overt symptoms of infection, additional screening should still be undertaken.
Much ink has been wasted of the efficacy, or lack thereof, of thermal screening cameras. But the truth remains that, when properly deployed and monitored, they have their place in any holistic infection control program. Whilst a fever is not the most common, or prevalent, indicator of Covid 19 infection [that would be fatigue and disturbance to the subject smell/taste] it is one that can be independently checked and verified; and is prevalent in over 55% of Covid 19 infections where symptoms are present. Therefore, the next layer of your holistic, protective screening, approach should be to check for a fever and, if such an elevated temperature is present, to conduct secondary screening in line with FDA guidelines.
Which brings us to, in all honesty, the most important part of any reopen process: getting the staff clocked in so that they can go to work. Current concerns with regards to infections seem, anecdotally, to have led to a general reluctance to "touch surfaces that many people have touched prior to you". Including surfaces related to previous forms of biometric identification technology, such as fingerprint, or palm print, readers. The use of various Covid-19 mitigations, such as antimicrobial gels are only likely to transfer the problem from one of potential infection to one of accuracy, as identifying whorls or other distinguishing features on the finger or palm are obscured. Leading to misidentification, a reduced throughput, and frustration.
Facial recognition however, being entirely zero-touch in action, neatly circumvents the limitations of this, newfound, germophobia. All the staff member needs to do is stand in front of a camera and he, or she, will be quickly informed whether they are recognized or not. At the same time a “punch event” will be sent to the underlying time and attendance system. Such as Workforce Dimensions, or Workforce Ready. Clocking them in or clocking them out. Quickly and efficiently. All without touching anything and whilst maintaining social distancing.
Therefore, the organization reopening, and being in a position to deploy this technology, whether in its entirety, or only partially, can be seen to be doing the "right thing" for its employees. This, in turn, will promote a sense of security, and confidence, amongst the workforce that every reasonable step to ensure their safety is being taken.
Moving into 2021 it is almost certain that more and more businesses will have to reopen to kick-start the wider economy. For these businesses to reopen safely, and to maintain the confidence of staff and employees, then the threat of COVID 19 need not be overstated, but does have to be acknowledged. Therefore a robust, and holistic, approach to staff screening prior to their shift, which can address a number of potential concerns, can only be of benefit.
We live in unprecedented times with a global pandemic ravaging peoples health. But businesses still have to open and still have to operate, and to do this then they need their staff to come to work. So addressing staff fear and concern regarding their health and safety is one of the most important ways that businesses can generate the confidence to reopen, or stay open. Come and see how eClear, by eConnect, can materially help you do this, visit eConnect's UKG Marketplace page to learn how.
The content from this blog is courtesy of Malcolm Rutherford, EVP Strategic Operations at eConnect.