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By Kerry Needs   |  
November 6th, 2020

Minimize the risk of COVID-19 closures at your facility

Reading Time: 3 minutes

When it comes to re-opening or managing a facility, there are usually huge amounts of checks and plans to be implemented as a standard. The battle to adhere to new measures under the uncertainty of rapid closures and reopens can make it even more difficult to get up to speed. 

We discover how to reopen your facilities safely, and how to avoid closures should outbreaks be on the horizon.

Facilities aim to stay COVID-free

By and large, gyms have stayed COVID-19 free in Australia, but there is still concern about how leisure facilities will continue to thrive due to reduced capacity.

Office workers across the globe have started remote working as their facility has been closed. A senior Bank of England official has recently said “With COVID safe guidelines, it’s not possible to use office space – particularly in central London and dense places like that – with the intensity that we used to use it. So it’s actually not possible to bring lots of people back very suddenly.”

Closing facilities at rapid speed

There are two ways that a facility can be shut down due to COVID-19:

Forced closure because of government tightening restrictions across a region, a state or a country

Facilities such as leisure centres and gyms took a huge hit during the first wave of the pandemic and are continuing to close shop in the fresh round of shutdowns. The Gym Group in the UK made a huge £26 million loss due to the lockdown, having to close all 183 of its premises. 

 Preventable closures because of poor hygiene and safety management

The shutdown of national office facilities in Canada was linked to a COVID-19 outbreak that was linked to multiple cases. Nationwide offices were closed for two weeks minimum, and communications went out to all staff to stay in their social bubbles for as long as possible.

After the outbreak at an Amazon warehouse where workers tested positive, businesses have now realized that a COVID-19 case in their facility can be a severe threat to their livelihood.

While you can’t control the hygiene and safety measures of your staff at home, you can put measures in place to stop the spread of infection. 

Local outbreaks can’t be avoided, but there is plenty that facilities managers and business owners can do in order to stay vigilant and act fast to stay on top of closures.

Here’s our suggestions for managing your risk at your facility with digital checklists:

Minimizing the risk of facilities closures

Create digital checklists to save time

Warehouse facility Statewide Independent Wholesalers do 75 checks per week, so when COVID-19 spread, they had to ramp up operations. Using iAuditor helped them to reduce over 6.5 hours admin time, which was invaluable as they focused their efforts on keeping staff safe.

Automatically scan any existing PDF, Excel or Word form and create your own COVID-19 checklist, or use one from our COVID-19 response hub

As hygiene becomes paramount in our lives, digital checklists are the only way to go in order to mitigate risk. Valley Leisure Fitness Center switched to our mobile inspection app, saving them over 8,000 pieces of paper each year. Adding reports and photos serve as useful information, especially with COVID-19 related checks.

Implement visitor logs for effective contact tracing

In facilities, people come and go often, whether that be postal delivery workers, suppliers, or building maintenance teams. Make sure there is a digital record kept on entry for test and trace.

Encourage staff to stay at home when they feel unwell, and conduct temperature checks

Preventing the spread of COVID-19 starts with monitoring symptoms. Staff wellness checks can be conducted weekly, as well as temperature checks upon entry.

Consider reduced capacity and clear signage throughout

Insurers Lloyds of London reopened their offices with new measures including temperature scanners, social distancing floor markers and monthly antibacterial misting. They have also decided to operate at 45% capacity in order to ensure further safety.

Monitor a real time dashboard so issues get flagged immediately

Monitoring issues in real time with iAuditor helps with visibility of any critical issues (i.e. noticing a hand sanitizer station is empty). Users can assign actions so items can be fixed quickly.

Empower every member of your team to be the eyes and ears of your business

Here at Safety Culture, our Manchester Office got safely back to work by first conducting a risk assessment, and implementing standards to raise hygiene levels throughout the building. 

Keep on top of daily and weekly reports, so you can notice if standards slip

Reviewing reports helped our Manchester Office to pivot if something needed actioning or we saw a trend over time.

The need for a mobile device that is kept on your person is crucial to stop the spread

With a mobile app such as iAuditor, you can react quicker to any government guidance or signs of infection. Responding rapidly can also put your facility ahead of your competitors.

Mitigate any risk of closure and stay ahead of the curve with our wide range of facilities checklists:

Facilities checklists

Important Notice
The information contained in this article is general in nature and you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your specific needs. Legal and other matters referred to in this article are based on our interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied on in place of professional advice. We are not responsible for the content of any site owned by a third party that may be linked to this article. SafetyCulture disclaims all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded) for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information contained in this article, any site linked to this article, and any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.