A ‘zero harm’ workplace is not a new concept. In fact, this has long been the goal of many organisations. At its core, a zero harm strategy aims to facilitate a workplace that is safe for every employee, contractor and visitor who sets foot on the premises.
As a goal, many workplaces have long been working to achieve this zero harm target. Continued assessment and re-assessment of the work environment, lead organisations to search for gains towards creating a safer workplace.
With time, they can better understand the risks faced in their workplace and industry, implementing continual improvements to their risk and harm mitigation strategies. But now, as organisations face down the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, how does this new threat factor into a zero harm strategy?
What does ‘zero harm’ mean in a COVID-19 world?
COVID-19 has brought with it a multitude of challenges and complications for the ongoing operation of businesses. But despite all these new challenges, the goal of zero harm remains the same.
A zero harm workplace means eliminating the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace.
Strategies to reduce COVID-19 transmission in the workplace
When it comes to reducing COVID-19 transmission in the workplace, many of the same principles applied across broader society remain relevant to the workplace.
Who really needs to be in the office?
The first and most pressing consideration is to assess who actually needs to be in the office. Regardless of any other protections put in place, the simplest way to prevent COVID-19 transmission in the workplace, and achieve zero harm, is to not have the opportunity for a COVID-19 infected person to enter the workplace.
With rolling lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions across so many countries in recent months, many employees and workplaces are now equipped to work from home full-time. So as your zero harm workplace looks to reopen after COVID-19, ensure you have thoroughly considered which employees truly need to work in the office.
Once you have considered who needs to be in the workplace, the next process to consider in your zero harm strategy is pre-screening.
Reduce the risk of an infected person entering the workplace, with pre-visit screening for everyone attending the site. With Sine Workflows, you can have staff complete compulsory COVID-19 screening questions before they arrive.
This allows you to screen and reject anyone who poses a risk to your workplace before they have arrived on-site. Check for any red flags such as contact with confirmed cases or mandated quarantine periods that a person may have been subjected to.
Zero harm is all about risk mitigation. So once you have considered the need for a person to attend the workplace and had them complete a COVID-19 screening questionnaire. The next important step in risk mitigation is the on-site screening. As part of the sign-in process, you can include a subsequent screening questionnaire, as well as remind the user about any COVID-19 protocols and requirements they must adhere to during their visit.
If you are looking to really beef up your COVID-19 screening, you can invest in integrated thermal checks as part of your sign-in process.
Thermal Check uses thermal imaging cameras to observe the user’s temperature during check-in and can accept or reject their check-in to prevent someone with an elevated temperature from entering the workplace — one of the most common warning signs of potential COVID-19 infection.
Contactless where possible
So how do you push for zero harm and reduce the risk once you have people within your workplace? The answer is contactless!
There are a number of new contactless technologies that have been developed throughout the pandemic, empowering workplaces to get staff back safely and reduce the risk of transmission.
Here at Sine, we offer contactless solutions for your visitor, contractor and staff management processes. From Instant QR sign-in to mobile check-in and integrated access control systems that enable a touchless user journey through your premises.
Fast, accurate contact tracing
In an ideal world, your zero harm strategy will result in zero infections within the office. However, unfortunately, this can not always be the case — while workplaces pushing for zero harm can take these opportunities to strengthen their controls and continue the fight for zero harm.
If the need for contact tracing does arrive, with Sine, you have a comprehensive log of people’s movements in and out of your workplace. With fast access to contact tracing logs, you will be well-positioned to minimise the risk of any further spread. Quickly identify suspected close contacts and ensure they can be quarantined and tested before the virus has a chance to spread any further.
The importance of zero harm strategies amidst COVID-19
Despite the significant challenges that COVID-19 presents, and the ever-changing nature of the pandemic. The goal of a zero harm workplace remains more important than ever before.