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Coronavirus Update: Leveraging your security system to reinforce business policies

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread across the globe, more companies are adopting stronger measures to protect employees from contracting and spreading the virus.

In the UK, this includes working from home, but clearly, this isn’t possible for all staff and all sectors, particularly for key workers in the Health or Logistics sectors, and those businesses that support them.

Organisations preparing for, and dealing with, changes to work patterns should consider using their security systems to bolster preventative measures and reinforce policies for employees, customers and visitors, helping to mitigate risks.

Security systems to help mitigate risks from Coronavirus

We have the following suggestions for the ways in which you can put your existing systems to good use, which we hope you find constructive:

Visitor management systems

A simple first line of defense is to utilize your visitor management system to automatically screen individuals accessing your property.

For organizations that have implemented visitor management kiosks, here are some questions you can ask as part of an additional screening approach:

  • Do you currently have a fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing?
  • Have you recently returned from China, Italy, Japan, South Korea or other areas with confirmed cases of the coronavirus?
  • Have you had close contact with someone who has a confirmed or suspected case of coronavirus?

Adding these questions to your visitor management system can offer another layer of insight for your organization. When integrated with your access control system, this becomes an even more powerful method for mitigating health, safety and security risks.

Managing authorised visitors on site can be achieved in a number of different ways, but one of the most effective is through dedicated visitor management software.  This can in the form of a standalone system or as an integrated module in combination with a Time & Attendance system .  Rather than requiring a person to interact with the visitor and register them and issue badges, the process is automated.  Furthermore, if part of a wider Time & Attendance system, it can enforce access authorisations and the automatic blocking of badges at the end of the visit or after a predefined time.

Access control systems

All revised operational decisions should be reinforced within your organisation’s access control settings, so you can control the environment to the best of your ability.  So, for example, if you have told employees on a particular site that they are to work from home, you might want to consider changing access privileges to reinforce this.  Take some time to review your settings, so they properly reflect the security levels of the areas you’re protecting and be sure to communicate this to all staff.

Many access control systems now provide remote management, so you can continue to use your access control system remotely.  This is ideal for providing access to tradespeople and deliveries.

Remote services and support

As more organisations send staff home and temporarily close their doors to visitors and contractors, they may need to leverage remote security management services and support for some business functions, including security.  It’s critically important to ensure your security is working properly when you’re off-site.  Many technology manufacturers and security providers have remote services in place and can provide diagnostics and even some level of maintenance without needing to be on site.  Check with your security provider to see what’s available.

The impact of Coronavirus

We’ve already seen the impact of COVID-19 on the security industry, with the world’s biggest trade show, ISC West, and now IFSEC in the UK, being postponed due to safety concerns. 

The coronavirus has had widespread impact on organisations beyond the security industry as well.

Businesses are, indeed, refining their response plans and can look to their security systems to further mitigate risks – not just in response to COVID-19, but in response to any new change in policy.

The security tips and best practices offered in this article should be part of any preparedness strategy and applied to all future crisis management policies and procedures.

If you would like to understand how best to immediately handle your pressing security requirements, please contact us to arrange a Zoom or Skype meeting.

We hope you find this information useful.  Stay well and stay positive!

We’re here for you.

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Friday, 03 April 2020