The global pandemic brought the world to a screeching halt, crippled national economies, and humbled us all. When the COVID-19 vaccines were developed and mass-scale administration began earlier this year, we all thought that we were seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
Fast forward to today, we can see that we are still nowhere close to the end of this pandemic. For the last 2 months, the United States has been averaging over 100,000 new cases of COVID-19 a day, primarily due to the rise of the Delta variant.
In what has come to be known as “The Great Wait”, the Delta variant has interfered substantially with return-to-office plans, with global giants such as Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google needing to repeatedly postpone their plans to bring workers back to their campuses. However, industrial organizations cannot afford to keep postponing return-to-work plans, as remote work is not an option.
Facilities and operations must be kept running, but it needs to be done in a way that protects workers and prevents unexpected shutdowns by COVID infections.
While adherence to COVID policies, mask mandates, constant sanitization, social distancing, and other practices are mitigating the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 in the workplace, these alone are insufficient.
Industrial organizations are inherently messy and complex. Asking workers to constantly make sure that they are socially distanced is a significant undertaking. Additionally, in the event of a COVID infection, it is nearly impossible to isolate who has been exposed. Thus, instead of sending home only a few workers, entire shifts are disrupted, causing enormous losses of productivity and profit.
To protect workers and ensure business continuity, organizations need to invest in COVID solutions that add a layer of automation to social distancing and can track/trace worker interactions to isolate possible COVID exposures in the event of an infection.
Fortunately, there are many good track and trace solutions available on the market. When weighing your options, here are some of the key features you should look for:
- Configurable Social Distancing Alerts: Any track and trace solution must have social distancing alerts to notify users when they are too close to another person. Ideally, the solution will have multiple methods of sending alerts, such as a flashing light as well as vibrations to ensure users are made aware of breaches. Additionally, solutions should be configurable so that minimum distance settings and alerts can adapt to guideline changes.
- Offline Network Functionality: In the event that your network goes down, the solution should still be able to function using local connectivity functionality.
- Customizable Contract Tracing Reports: Solutions should generate on-demand reports to help HR teams isolate possible COVID exposures in the event of an infection in the workplace.
- GDPR Compliant and Privacy-Conscious: Solutions must adhere to GDPR regulations, ensure data is stored securely, and only be accessible by authorized personnel.
- Repurpose-able: The solution should be built so that it can be reconfigured for other safety use-cases such as collision avoidance to ensure that your investment is scalable and delivers long-term ROI.
While the Delta variant will continue to disrupt return-to-office plans around the world, there are steps that organizations can take to mitigate risks. Investing in a robust track and trace solution such as our TA1 Tag is one of these steps.
Guardhat is pioneering end-to-end connected worker safety solutions for industrial workers. We offer cutting-edge, wearable technology; a proprietary connected worker platform – unrivaled in its ability to ingest, manage and analyze unstructured data; easy to deploy monitoring and reporting software; and a growing ecosystem of partner integrations.
Guardhat enables companies to monitor worker location, health, and work environment to shorten reaction time and help proactively solve safety challenges. We hold 15 patents in real-time location systems, wearable solution design, and connected worker software. If you are interested in our connected safety solutions – including situational awareness, environmental and biometric monitoring, multi-modal communication, RTLS, Covid-19, and advanced technology solutions – contact us to arrange a demo.