The current exceptional situation is not only a challenge for the economy, the health care system, or the education system – everything is being questioned, and work environments need to adapt to the current Covid-19 outbreak and prepare us for any other future possible outbreaks.
Technologies, which were considered state of the art and secure before the outbreak, are no longer suitable or safe. This is especially the case for access control systems. It is no longer conceivable that a fingerprint, a pin on a keyboard, or crowded queues are acceptable as access control measures.
Especially companies and factories need to make sure their access solutions are safe for employees and can help to stop further outbreaks. Most companies and factories are already working with modern systems. However, these can additionally be upgraded to be even safer.
Here are recommendations that you might want to examine when evaluating and adapting access systems for returning to a safe day at work.
1. Hands-free & contactless – as little interaction as possible to prevent contamination
Hands-free and contactless solutions will be essential from now on. Therefore, access systems should be able to work hands-free and contactless. Upgrading your existing access system by implementing a mobile access feature will transform your current access system. A mobile access solution replaces keys, key cards, and touchpads with a smart device. Mobile access solutions enable secure communication between smart devices and entry points such as gates or access control readers. Users can then pass access points hands-free and without needing to interact.
When upgrading your access system, you create a safer environment for everyone, while also making your employees feel more satisfied since they don't have to exert any effort when walking through a gate.
2. People registration – know who is in and who is out
The access system must be able to recognize who is in the building and who is not. This applies in particular to companies with a large personal environment. It must be ensured that employees are informed when an infection is reported in the company. At the same time, the employee’s privacy needs to be taken seriously.
3. Contact Tracing - an easy way to ensure anonymous and efficient communication
For an even better evaluation and protection of the employees, a contact tracing system should be implemented. A contact tracing system gathers (in the ideal case, in an encrypted form) information on who passes checkpoints and stays in certain areas.
In the case of a reported infection, the contact tracing system can evaluate which employees spent sufficient time in an affected area.
This function can then provide a list of those team members which can, in turn, be notified, if a notifiable disease occurs.
In summary, a contact tracing solution can prevent the complete lockdown of an entire office or factory. Still, the solution needs to be examined carefully, to make sure it doesn't harm the workforce's privacy more than it helps to keep them safe.
4. Limited work areas – to protect employees
It is useful to only give those employees access to areas that are important for their work. This could prevent unnecessary contact and therefore further infections.
Centralized access management can help with rapid implementation and sustainable maintenance.
5. Traffic light systems - an electronic counting system to prevent crowded areas
A traffic light system can be installed to keep areas safe. Traffic light systems count the number of people who enter a certain area. If a certain amount of people entered the room the traffic light at the entrance will turn red and signal that no other person can enter.
Particularly supermarkets and factories could profit from the traffic light system to protect their employees, guests, and to combat the coronavirus.