In the wake of COVID-19, business leaders have been bombarded with a myriad of instructions and recommendations as to how they should sanitize workplaces and reintroduce employees. With all of the noise surrounding potential infections and workplace safety, it can be difficult for Health and Safety Ambassadors to hone in what truly needs doing for a safe reopening.
People managers have been struck with a tricky dilemma: they know that scaling back operations will hurt the bottom line; but at the same time, they have been under pressure to heighten safety efforts, which can often mean restrictions on business activity. However, taking strategic safety-focused steps can generate a degree of certainty going forward for both shop floor staff and management. Building entrances are the midway point between employees and the wider world. Therefore, it makes sense to monitor them as closely as possible.
From an employment law perspective, the message could not be clearer. Canadian law firm Osler, stipulates that ‘limiting entrance and exit points, is key to attaining physical distancing between staff members. What’s more, is the need to ward off symptomatic employees before they pass through entrance points.
Entrances have already been singled out as safety priorities by large organizations, especially government bodies. In November 2020, Ontario’s provincial government implemented a mandatory workplace screening tool, which was designed to deter potentially infectious employees from contaminating workplaces. On top of this, it has been recommended that people managers place visible signs informing workers that such screening will take place. The CDC suggests that such signs ‘ask guests and visitors to phone from their cars to inform the administration or security when they reach the facility.’ Taking these recommendations on board are some of the government-supported measures Health and Safety Ambassadors can implement to safeguard their businesses.
Without sufficient entrance precautions in place, a company-wide anti-virus game plan can quickly fail. This comes in light of the fact that entrances and exits see heavy usage on a daily basis. In a major virus transmission study was undertaken by the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, ‘the main exit of the [workplace] building’ was highlighted as a viral infection hotpoint. The study authors asserted that the best defense against viral breakouts would be precautions, such as hand gel and sanitizer, at potential hotspots. Clearly, it can be verifiably demonstrated that safer entrances mean reduced infection risks.
What’s more, securing entranceways outwardly signals a company’s commitment to public hygiene and employee wellbeing. When observers and visitors notice a greater level of hygiene commitment from the outside, it serves to amplify public brand value. By using the right technology in tandem with official guidelines, Canadian businesses can ensure that entranceways thwart COVID-19, whilst also promoting a positive company image.