Posted on 16/10/2020
Facility Management Fundamentals in Post COVID-19 Business World
As communities and different business sectors slowly prepare for their reopening phase, the importance of creating strategic and practical plans for the safe transition to the post-COVID workplace rises.
Some facilities might require temperature checks, while for others social distancing will be the primary challenge. One way or another, there are some fundamental aspects that every business should follow for the safety and well being of their employees, partners, and visitors.
Whether you are managing a large property in the commercial office, or are responsible for the safety of your business’s working environment the following are steps that will maximise the safety of your clients, workers, and visitors.
Before turning into the actual safety measurements, make sure to check National COVID‑19 Safe Work Principles.
Complete your risk assessment:
COVID-19 definitely changed the risk and safety measurements regarding your working environment. In order to manage your actions properly and understand the ways, your business needs to be prepared for post-COVID workplace make sure to start the transition process by analysing safe Work Australia’s risk assessment guidance.
You can not only use this information to identify the current restrictions in workplaces and how they directly relate to your business but you can also use this as a guide to update your existing assessment plan.
Maintain good hygiene and cleaning:
Probably one of the positive effects of the pandemic was the changes in our hygiene and cleaning habits.
Proper cleaning and disinfection have a direct effect on reducing the spread of the virus. Not all facilities might need full-day disinfection, but consistency in deep cleaning will surely make the working environment safer for everyone.
No matter individuals’ attentiveness towards their hygiene, basic hygiene products such as paper towels, soaps, hand sanitisers, and other essential products should be available for everyone.
For good hygiene and cleaning practices, please make sure to do the following:
- Make sure to complete the Safe Work Australia health, hygiene and facilities checklist.
- Complete the Safe Work Australia cleaning checklist
- Include signs and posters on good hygiene and hand washing practices around your workplace
- Educate your workers about how to maintain good hygiene and cleaning.
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Ensure physical distancing:
Be attentive towards finding the best solutions for physically separating employees in all areas of the building, as well as meeting rooms, parking pots, break rooms, entrance and exit areas and more.
- Make sure to use appropriate signs, tape marks, or other visual cues to show the visitors or employees on where to stand when the physical barriers to keep people 6 feet apart are not possible.
- Try to reduce and replace high-touch communal items (e.g. coffee pots) with alternatives such as single-serving items to ensure the minimum contact of a large number of people.
In order to ensure the appropriate physical distancing in your working area, also make sure to conduct the following additional steps:
- Review the Safe Work Australia advice on physical distancing
- Complete the physical distancing checklist
One of the most effective ways to ensure the safety inside a building is to prevent people carrying the virus from entering, in the first place. Building managers are responsible for creating step by step guides to effectively manage the traffic of people on the entrances of buildings.
For the given problem, the following technologies are designed to help building owners to keep people safe in this new “normal.”
Seek-Scan (Seek Thermal): This is a simple, low-cost thermal imaging system specifically designed to automate body temperature screening with the use of using skin temperature as a proxy.
ThermoRebellion (Honeywell): This technology can conduct a non-invasive preliminary screening of individuals entering a building through the use of infrared imaging technology and AI algorithms. The camera can detect skin temperature within two seconds, which can be displayed on the accompanying monitor.
The product can also identify if the entering individual is wearing all the required protection equipment or not.
CSE1008 (CENTRIC): This walk-through body temperature detector gate uses a non-contact temperature sensing system. It is guaranteed to help ensure that everyone is screened before entering and identify people with possible symptoms.
Make sure to provide proper supervision to your employees, clients, and visitors about the ways they can personally contribute to their safety at work.
- Start with providing information about the needed actions on the situations when they have symptoms or are infected.
- Communicate about important aspects such as workplace leave policies, local or state health department contact information and more.
- Clearly communicate on the operational changes in the working environment and needed protection equipment, such as masks.
COVID-19 indeed changed our lives in various ways. Our lives differ from the way we do our grocery shopping, to the way we interact in our working environment. At the end of the day, while all of those changes might be difficult to adapt to, our collective health and safety are what matter the most.
While facility owners should ensure the safety of the individuals entering their buildings, we are all responsible for conducting all the required measurements in the fight against COVID-19.
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