Security measures to ensure a safe return to work (COVID-19)

Employers’ duty of care has never been as high priority as it is now. With the Government actively encouraging those who can’t work from home to go to work, many questions have been raised about how to make offices, shops, factories and construction sites safe and secure.

“The pandemic lockdown situation and easing process, in what we are, and are not allowed to do is changing week by week as the numbers dictate how close we are to the ‘new normal.’ So, it’s not surprising employers are reaching out for support on how best to transition their people back to work. We are here to help and handling daily enquiries from those seeking advice on measures that can be taken to ensure staff safety and security, ” says Jamie Allam, CEO Amthal Fire & Security.

From perimeter protection systems to all glass screens, Amthal offers tailored Covid-19 return to work solutions for employers to help manage the return to the environment, identifying seven practical considerations to consider and provide necessary peace of mind.

Jamie explains the seven suggested steps below:

1. Site surveys
Mr Johnson has made it clear that for those who are returning to work, their workplace environments should be adapted so that they are “Covid-secure”. A risk assessment is an essential starting point, and should be completed (social distanced) by a security professional, with a specific focus to ensure workplaces are compliant and free from defects.

The assessment will cover the entire area of a facility, from perimeter protection through compliant access control, one way “flow routes’ inside a building and implement social distancing measures as required for desks and facilities.

2. Providing peace of mind
A large part of the return to work strategy, must focus on employees and recognise feature and anxieties of infection upon returning to work. Providing peace of mind that everything is being done to avoid this scenario will be key to success. This includes staggering the arrival and departure times of employees, strategic use of lifts, implementing additional hygiene procedures, putting up physical screens and having employees use personal protective equipment when they are unable to remain 2m apart.

3. Social distancing signage and screens
Install social distancing signage that clearly 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 (perfect for Covid-19 fever screening) 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. Reducing risk of transmission
At time of writing*, there are no plans to make face coverings mandatory for office workers in England. But there are essential areas of businesses and buildings to consider in reducing risk of transmission. The main principles are based around facilitating social distancing whenever possible, limiting the number of people in common areas, and to reduce as much as possible, common touch points such as door handles or keypads.

•. Coronavirus: Matt Hancock rejects face masks and coverings for offices. Featured online 15 July 2020:

6. Controlled access
Revised business operations may mean you need to close sites, which could require additional security, lock changes or goods moved to another location. Use 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.

7. Keep checking
With guidance changing on what we are and not allowed to do, our advice is to carry out weekly inspections, including photographic records, to help ensure safety and social distancing measures are being adhered to on site. If nothing else, it also proves to employees that you are taking very latest Government guidance seriously, communicating often and implementing change where necessary to protect their health, safety and well-being.

Jamie concludes: “There’s currently a lot of information for businesses to digest to make buildings safe. It’s essential for employers to work to understand such requirements to ensure a safe and seamless return to work.

“By carefully planning and assessing buildings on a constant basis, managing the flow of people from entry right the way through to their own work spaces, these issues can be addressed to provide ultimate peace of mind to employers and employees who are looking to ‘protect what’s precious.’”

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We very much look forward to hearing from you.