Avoid Business Shutdown: COVID-19 Screening with Digital Checklists
Business Risks: Understanding COVID-19 and how it can hurt your operations?
COVID-19 is spreading FAST. The US is now the epicenter of the global pandemic. As of 10 am CST April 6, 2020, CDC has recorded a total of 300,000+ cases. News reports indicate that we have crossed 9,000+ deaths.
This chart shows the exponential growth in infection across the US. [Link]
The key point to understand here is that COVID-19 (coronavirus) is here and its not going away soon. Vaccinations and treatments will eventually come, but it will be another 12-18 months before we have access to them. What we will see in the meantime is that the disease will spread throughout the country, albeit the growth may slow down with social distancing measures. Supply chains however do not have the luxury of shutting down. Food still needs to brought to peoples homes, people will continue to order items online and factories, warehouses and distribution centers (essential businesses) have no choice but to continue to power on.
Imagine this, a worker who has recently traveled to New York (or any other epicenter) shows up to work. The worker may be infected but asymptomatic. As that worker moves around his/her daily routine, he or she may create fomites (infected surfaces) and spread the disease to unsuspecting co-workers. Quite recently, Amazon had to shut down its entire warehouse operation in Shepherdsville, KY due to a coronavirus outbreak. At other Amazon facilities, workers have started to agitate and demand facility shutdowns. These issues cannot be swept under the rug. How businesses respond to this humanitarian crisis will define their legacy for the years to come.
Workers agitating outside an Amazon facility. [Article]
There is an urgent moral and financial responsibility on management to be proactive with regards to continuity of business without risking worker health and safety.
Solutions: What can be done to prevent a facility shutdown?
Businesses are either panicking and unable to act fast enough or coming up with haphazard solutions. Some are relying on their workforce to self-report their health on a regular basis and self-quarantine in case of an infection, but by the time worker is able to realize a problem and self-quarantine it may already be TOO late.
Lets see how businesses can be proactive in simple yet effective ways:
1. Screening: In under 60 seconds a simple digital screening checklist can be run on a person. Questions about travel history, symptoms etc. can be asked and results recorded.
A checklist like this can prevent a lot of headache down the road.
2. Enforce equipment and work area sanitization: Regular equipment checklists, e.g., forklift daily inspection checklists can be updated to add sanitation and wipe-down questions to enforce sanitation compliance. This can help prevent the creation of fomites (infected surfaces).
Work area and equipment sanitation can be enforced as part of daily inspection routines.
3. Track down and follow-up on compliance issues: Review logs and trace down non-compliance issues. If an issue is logged, act immediately, e.g., send the worker home and give them the comfort of knowing that their sick leave will be taken care of. Schedule a replacement worker or hire more workers based on need.
As a leading industrial truck safety and compliance solutions provider, we find ourselves in a unique position to provide EHS solutions that help our customers at a time when they need it the most. The SIERA.AI digital checklist can be used to setup COVID-19 screening and sanitation checklists. We will be hosting a webinar on April 15, 2020 at 1 pm CST, register here to get a live demo. Folks who attend the webinar get access to special pricing!
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