Workplace clinics. Vaccination incentives. Hazard pay. Wearable monitoring devices. Employers are trying all sorts of things to keep employees engaged, happy, and safe.
We have something that might provide you more immediate answers.
EBI Workplace Health and Safety experts are providing FREE 30-minute COVID-19 Response Reviews. This exploratory discussion reviews any existing protocols you have in place with the goal of protecting your staff and visitors while maximizing your budget. Together, we’ll identify the right mix of solutions that best integrate with your culture and processes. Request your complimentary review today!
Determining what you really need and what works best for your organization may depend on what industry you’re in. We recently wrote an article for Construction Best Practices Magazine about the trial-and-error approach many construction companies are taking to combat the pandemic, and what best practices they should follow.
The pandemic has hammered the construction industry. Nearly one million jobs were lost in April last year. Nonresidential construction starts were down by almost a quarter in the first half of 2020. And the industry’s unemployment rate was still hovering above 7% as 2020 wrapped.
But there are some positives for the construction industry to build on in 2021. Some states’ classification of construction workers as “essential” has helped keep both public and private development projects moving. The introduction of vaccines should help protect individual workers. Continued safety and health guidance specific to construction sites from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may also provide developers and employers actionable steps to keep workers safe.
For an industry that represents 13% of global GDP, it’s imperative for the health of economies worldwide that construction industry leaders keep their workers safe, limit service disruptions, and improve project costs. Fortunately, EBI Workplace Health & Safety provides employers a full suite of solutions that can be customized to meet their unique needs.
Construction companies can reduce outbreaks and improve productivity at jobsites by pairing technology with a comprehensive safety plan using the latest guidance from the CDC and OSHA. This begins with the ability to efficiently analyze and gather critical data insights related to health and safety.
Using technology like dashboards, where managers access essential information on their employees’ health and movements, makes implementing and revising safety plans over time far less stressful. With an HR Command Center, managers can better protect employees in real-time by analyzing data and quickly issuing notifications to staff in the event of an outbreak. Here are three common construction issues and how a health and safety software solution can solve them.
Being understaffed due to employee illness creates costly delays and negatively impacts projects. Managers can ensure they are fully staffed by performing health checks in advance of employee shifts, which improves their ability to keep illnesses from spreading across the worksite. By having employees complete a CDC questionnaire and self-report their temperature through their phone or mobile device, managers ensure workers aren’t a potential risk before setting foot on the site.
If a questionnaire response is concerning or a high temperature is reported, the worker could be asked to stay home and contact a doctor. The employee’s HR administrator is then alerted so they can begin proper protocol. By preparing in advance, HR personnel can improve their responses to health events that can potentially set projects back by causing health-related under-staffing issues. EBI Health & Safety has a mobile wellness app that employees can use to answer surveys and health questionnaires. In less than 60 seconds, you can have the vital information you need to protect your workforce before they arrive on site.
Three out of four employees who use wearable distance monitoring and contact tracing devices at work state they feel safer than those who do not. Wearable technology can track employees’ movements, record their distance from others, the duration of their interactions, and alert them if they are at increased risk. The data collected can also play a critical role in future planning of a project, improve adherence to employee capacity regulations, and adjust scheduling and break times.
Technology that analyzes employee movement takes the guesswork out of jobsite social distancing and meets construction site physical distancing guidance suggested by the CDC. Rather than using security cameras and spot checks to ensure workers are wearing masks and adhering to social distancing rules, motion-activated technology at the worksite can track construction crews, as well as scan for PPE and body temperatures. If a worker happens to test positive, managers can use the wearable devices to trace any exposures and enact an employee quarantine in less than 30 minutes, ensuring everyone who may be infected can properly isolate. EBI Health & Safety uses the same ultra-wideband technology the NFL used this past season to keep players, staff, and fans safe.
In addition to dashboards and wearable technology, employers need to protect workers once they arrive at a jobsite. This can be streamlined through automation technologies that limit human interaction. For example, a thermal temperature scanner linked to a QR code door entry system further reduces virus exposure risk. It reduces the costs associated with manually performing temperature and personal protective equipment checks each day. Companies can install onsite thermal temperature scanners to take employees’ temperatures, detect potential symptoms of COVID-19, and check for required PPE.
In addition to a digital workplace health and safety solution, organizations can promote workplace safety by limiting employee capacity at jobsites, installing physical barriers, creating new pathways, scheduling alternating shifts, and permitting frequent breaks. Construction companies can reduce the spread of COVID-19 and continue to contribute to our country’s economic recovery by utilizing technology that assists workers in understanding signs of infection and helps managers ensure guidelines are being followed.
EBI Workplace Health & Safety is a secure U.S. cloud-based, customizable platform providing modular options for retailers and all organizations to protect their people and their livelihoods. The platform serves as a central data repository and analytics engine for data collected through employee mobile health apps, thermal scanners, and contact tracing systems. These analytics give employers the insights they need to make critical business decisions to keep workplaces open and operational. Schedule a demo here.
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*A version of this article originally appeared in Construction Best Practices.
Writer. Digital marketer. Storyteller. An award-winning writer and editor, Tricia O'Connor is the Marketing Content Manager at EBI. Tricia worked as a broadcast and print journalist for nearly two decades writing and producing programming for high-profile networks like ESPN Radio, History Channel, and Hallmark Channel, as well as contributing editorial work to publications nationwide. Tricia joined the EBI marketing team in 2019 and is responsible for content strategy, development, and engagement. Tricia earned a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and is a proud undergraduate alumna of Wheaton College in Massachusetts.