As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many businesses are looking for ways to keep track of employee health and ensure that anyone exposed gets the proper care. Exposure management is now a reality for all businesses, and not just the ones that traditionally had to deal with contaminants such as chemical factories. Most employees are used to working with cleaning products that might have some harmful side effects, but now everyone is at risk of being exposed to the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. Every business needs to think about their exposure management plans, and decide how to best execute them. Gone are the days of the paper-based system, now it’s time to go digital.
Why Go Digital?
Exposure management can be performed with a paper-based system. An employee can fill out a questionnaire, hand it to their manager, and go about their day. However, in a hospital setting or in a warehouse, there are hundreds of employees on different shifts working around the clock to ensure that essential services are provided. That equates to hundreds, if not thousands of sheets of paper that can easily be misplaced, or filed improperly. Technology needs to be used to sift through big data, administer easy health checks, and provide a portal in which exposures can quickly be updated. There are many different software programs out there that can do this, but not all are built the same.
Picking the Right Software
Many businesses utilize simple software to track shifts, clock-in and clock-out times, and other management tools, but exposure management itself requires a technology that looks at environmental, health and safety management. As soon as a potential exposure to COVID-19 is reported, all employees who may have been exposed need to be flagged and monitored for symptoms while self-isolating for the recommended 14-day period. Most software will have simple health check questionnaires to see if employees are exhibiting symptoms, and will have health profiles for each employee. As soon as exposure happens, contact tracing via software can be used to see who has come into contact with the employee or employees who have been exposed. By being able to quickly map who an employee has come into contact with, anyone who may have been exposed can be tested for COVID-19 and isolated from other employees.
Keeping Employees Safe
Employees have families, roommates, and friends who they come into contact with outside of the workplace. This creates more spaces for employees to potentially be exposed to the novel coronavirus, or transmit it if exposed at work. Technology which allows for the creation of employee profiles, may also need a sub-profile added that details the living arrangement of the employee during this time, as community transmission is a very real possibility. It is not simply employees that businesses need to be worried about. If their essential workers have elderly loved ones that they live with, further safety mechanisms may need to be in place. However, using a paper-based system to keep track of all of these pieces of information is simply not feasible.
For businesses struggling with the decision of whether or not to go digital during this time, all they need to do is think about the health of their employees and themselves. Being able to assess the health of their employees at the click of a button, instead of relying on a paper-based system eliminates human error, and keeps employees better protected and able to continue working.