Signs came out and mandatory fire extinguishers followed Fire Shirtwaist Triangle factory in New York City. The 1933 Long Beach earthquake triggered the revision of building codes for California public schools. Regulations covering the construction and operation of nuclear power stations were ratified after the 1979 Three Mile Island Accident.
What are the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on workplace safety?
The people at Poppymanufacturer of biosafety information systems, promised increased sensitivity to airborne pathogens and the benefits of reduced illness due to poor indoor air quality.
“The pandemic has made it clear that the world was unmonitored and unnoticed for all possible infections,” said Sam Molyneux, Co – Founder and Co – CEO of Poppy. “Once we have covered, screened, tested, ventilation is the final position to ensure that infections do not spread.”
Building operators have opened windows and doors to prevent the airborne spread of the COVID virus. Still, Molyneux said many are embracing a sledgehammer approach to the process.
Improving airflow may have little impact on transmission and increase heating costs and fossil fuel consumption.
Even very cautious companies make mistakes, he said. “We see a lot of over-ventilation in offices that are using ultraviolet irradiation and air purifiers but still have hot spots,” he said.
In fact, the best solution is often to reduce the amount of outside air and direct it properly.
That’s why viruses do not adhere to airflow patterns, explains Poppy Co – Founder and Co – CEO Elizabeth Caley. “If it’s so simple, opening windows would make a difference,” she says, “but viruses usually spread in the air in places you wouldn’t expect. They can go in doors and around corners. It’s beyond to be dynamic. “
Poppy recommends that construction operators employ a combination of purifiers, strategic ventilation, and irradiation to improve air quality, only after first consulting with HVAC contractors.
“Most people do not know how to implement these changes effectively,” says Molyneux. “HVAC providers are experts on these issues.”
Securing the workplace
physical security giant ADT Inc. customer interest in security cameras has been growing since Covid’s increased need for greater workplace vigilance.
Low-cost, network-enabled smart cameras and enhanced image recognition software are leading the trend.
“Small businesses have done a good job of securing their warehouse fronts, but now they are also trying to secure their trucks,” says ADT Chief Technology Officer Raya Sevilla.
Businesses are becoming increasingly sensitive to placing tools on every corner of the workplace for security purposes and to ensure optimal occupant density.
“You can also use the cameras to tell if the space is empty or overcrowded for contact tracking,” says Sevilla. “You can also leverage that technology for fitness, like detecting if someone fell.”
Conscious of privacy concerns, ADT is investing in radar technology that can scan the workplace without identifying individuals. He is also working on technology that detects exceptions, as an employee fails to swipe a badge at an expected time.
A healthier future?
One of COVID’s enduring legacies could be a safer workplace, fewer sick days, and businesses paying more attention to their people ‘s welfare.
“We noticed that we were living with a lot of diseases inside that we weren’t familiar with,” says Poppy’s Molyneux. “The ability to control them completely is within our reach.”
Caley cited the example of norovirus, a highly contagious gastrointestinal disorder it kills about 50,000 children worldwide every year (I’ve got it, and I hope you never do).
Basic precautions such as washing hands, food and surfaces are the best protection, and the COVID awareness created about the importance of such routines could ultimately save thousands of lives and millions of lost work days.
The experience might even dispel the machismo – based view that coming to work when you are sick is a sign of commitment rather than what it really is.
Attitudes about such things tend to change slowly, but some urgency has been added to the process because of the pandemic. “What if you didn’t get sick? What if you weren’t injured? The benefits come back in spades,” Nico Pronk, chief science offering at HealthPartners Inc., said Harvard School of Public Health.
“You can’t be successful if you don’t have healthy workers, but that recognition is hardly there yet.”
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Will the legacy of COVID be a healthier workplace?
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