To stay open in the midst of a global pandemic, businesses in every sector are being asked to make significant changes to how they operate. A new playbook is required to address issues related to employee health and safety at every level of the company. 

From site entry to social distancing and sanitization, you need a clear plan in place to protect employees, minimize the risk of infection, and react quickly if one is detected. But a lot of organizations have been caught flat-footed, still using 20th-century resources and technologies for a 21st-century problem. The paperwork alone can be a huge burden in implementing and managing these new processes, and when you consider the added costs of equipment, processes, and testing, you need to cut the fat wherever possible. 

Digitization is being used to tackle these problems head-on, reducing the amount of time required to complete new processes every day and streamlining bulky paperwork procedures with constantly connected technology and tools. 

The Cost of Health Containment Initiatives 

No one is arguing the importance of strong health containment initiatives that adhere to CDC, State, and Local health department regulations and recommendations. But we also can’t ignore the added cost they bring. PPE including face masks result in an added $6/person/month, testing adds another $10-15/person/month, and other initiatives such as disinfection and training add up to a hard cost of $25/person/month to follow the baseline recommendations most companies are trying to meet. 

That’s a significant added cost that absolutely no one had accounted for in the budget. All of a sudden, in a time of deep economic uncertainty, companies are forced to find large segments of new budgets to keep the doors open and employees safe.

The Cost of Inefficient Solutions

We’ve been working with businesses since the start of the pandemic to address these problems and have seen repeatedly that many are suffering not only hard costs on a per-employee basis but deep hits to productivity in maintaining these new protocols. 

Especially those without digital site entry and technology to replace paper-based tracking and record-keeping have costs of 4 minutes per employee or higher every day. For a company with 1000 active employees on the line at once, that minute accounts for 128 hours over two shifts of productivity loss every single day. The median wage for US workers is just under $20 per hour. At a loss of 16 hours per day in productivity, the total cost per month approaches $56,000. 

These processes are vital. They are designed to protect workers, reduce the risk of shutdown, and adhere to necessary protective measures. So we can’t get rid of the process, but we can make it more efficient. Paper is adding time to the process. We can digitize and save that time, greatly reducing the impact. 

How Digitization Addresses the Cost of Health Containment

There are several ways in which digitization directly addresses the time it takes to detect, monitor, and prevent the risk of spread in the workplace. These include:

  • Removing the Temperature Gun – Instead of having one employee dedicated to taking temperatures and recording them on a clipboard manually every shift, automatic temperature monitoring stations can be installed to take temperatures contact-free and save them automatically to software designed to track potential symptoms. This can save $750/week immediately, providing ROI in just two weeks. 
  • Employees Self-Assess via Mobile – Mobile reporting apps allow employees to perform their daily self-assessments before they arrive at the entry-gate and submit them automatically, reducing the time it takes to ask the same questions over and over again, and eliminating paper records entirely. 
  • Contact Tracing through Mobile Applications – By automatically tracking who is in contact with each other, if a case is detected, you can instantly see who may need to be tested or separated from the rest of the frontline to avoid the potential spread of the coronavirus. 

By implementing digital tools to replace paperwork and removing manual steps in site entry and monitoring, it’s possible to realize immediate savings and efficiency gains while ensuring a higher level of accuracy in your health containment efforts. 

Taking the Next Step Toward a Safe, Healthy Workplace

The cultural changes we’ve experienced in the last four months are likely to be a part of our new normal for months to come. Some elements will be permanent as we work to avoid the potential impact of a pandemic in the future. Andonix is at the forefront, helping organizations to Detect, Prevent, and Monitor to reduce the risk of infection spreading among frontline workers. Learn more about our three-pronged approach to health containment and worker safety and how to get started.

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