Managing a safe return to work – six measures every employer should be ready to adopt

With organisations preparing for more staff returning to their places of work over the coming weeks, many questions have been raised about how to make offices, shops, factories and construction sites safer from the threat of an invisible virus.

“Unsurprisingly, we have seen a surge of enquiries and demand from employers regarding what measures they need to take to both ensure their staff’s safety, and also to comply with government guidelines,” said David Wormald, a director of Europe’s leading security and safety specialist, VPS UK.

“Our Covid-19 response team has developed a system targeted at employers to help support them manage the return to work with a solution comprising six practical steps.”

1. Property Inspections – Know what the problem is before you prepare to tackle it. Use the expertise of inspectors to check and evaluate your sites; their eye for detail will identify requirements and make sure the workplaces are compliant and free from defects; request a full checklist report, with high-definition evidential imagery.

2. Deploy a specialist disinfection cleaning service – Help alleviate employees’ fear and anxiety of infection upon returning to work, with a disinfection misting service. This fills areas with fine mist of disinfecting particles, leaving an anti-viral residue for up to seven days. It is suitable for areas containing electronics found in offices, call centers, and vehicles, and typically takes about two hours per office with the room ready to use in 10 minutes.

3. Social distancing signage and screens – Install social distancing signage that shows required direction of travel, distancing and queue locations, especially around places where staff might gather, like coffee machines and kitchen areas. Perspex screens can also be fitted to create barriers between desks, at point of sale and reception sites.

4. Body temperature detectors – Installing a body temperature measurement system will not only help keep staff safe, but will provide a significant reassurance to them that the management of the return to work has been handled with their safety as a top priority. This uses the latest in thermal camera technology paired with AI-enabled monitoring, for fully contact-less, accurate and fast fever detection which can be integrated into a wide array of sites. Cameras can be mounted on walls, ceilings or tripods, to make them extremely easy to install and able to be deployed rapidly.

5. Safe and secure access for all staff – Revised business operations may mean you need to close sites, which could require additional security, lock changes or goods moved to another location. Use Bluetooth smart doors and other remote access solutions that allow entry for authorised personnel only, to support business continuity, and also lone worker monitoring to help support their safety as well as social distancing protocols.

6. Compliance Inspections – do not just rely on a one-off inspection and installation of products and services. Carry out weekly inspections, including photographic records, to help ensure social distancing measures are being adhered to on site. Using specialist software, trained inspectors can upload these reports in real time to be instantly accessible.