Best Practices for Reopening Safely
As businesses and organizations are fully or partially reopening for staff, clients, students, and the general public, many are facing new health and safety challenges. As a result, security personnel are being asked to do more to protect facilities and their people.
The workplaces and campuses are different. Fewer people are on-site, and more are working, teaching, or learning remotely. Staff and students are farther apart, with fewer “cube farms” packed with people. In addition, workplaces now feature plexiglass barriers and waiting areas that encourage social distancing.
With new regulations, rules, and concerns, it’s more important than ever to have a highly skilled security partner to manage and maintain a smooth reopening.
Here are a few factors to consider when reopening a workplace or campus.
More Education Required
Every state, city and organization have distinct priorities and regulations, and security personnel need to be aware of those differences, which continue to evolve.
Some areas or organizations require security personnel to be fully vaccinated, and some require that staff and visitors be vaccinated as well. Others expect that personnel either be vaccinated or show recent test results. They may ask that everyone entering the building attest that they have no COVID-19 symptoms, often using an electronic kiosk or a mobile app.
At Sunstates Security, those requirements have meant extra education for security personnel. Depending upon the jurisdiction and client, security officers may need to learn laws, regulations, testing protocols or other related information.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Sunstates Training Department has created several customized courses to keep security officers up-to-date on a dynamic situation. They collaborate with the Legal & Compliance Department, which monitors all legislation and guidelines throughout the firm’s service area.
Because the COVID-19 situation is fluid, Sunstates continuously updates its training to ensure that officers have the most recent and accurate information, including safety and sanitation protocols. Many organizations provide hand sanitizer, masks, wipes, gloves, or other equipment and are boosting recommendations and awareness of handwashing and other germ-related protocols.
Adding Situational Awareness
Employees, students, clients, and visitors are more vigilant than ever before about others and whether they appear healthy. People haven’t become germaphobes, but they’re asking that others have everyone’s best interests at heart. Again, education is key. Organizations and individuals need to understand what’s legally required, legally permissible, and socially acceptable.
Every organization should have protocols in place for actions to take if someone has COVID-19 or has been exposed to it. For example, how will others be notified? Will the organization do contact tracing? How should security officers report and deal with potential exposure? These new policies and procedures should be designed, documented, and communicated before an incident occurs. Our internal protocols either meet or exceed all OSHA, CDC, and other federal, state, and local requirements and guidelines.
Sunstates frequently works with clients to devise and implement strategies to reduce the risk of transmission and protect others if exposure occurs.
Partnering with HR
Sunstates works closely with each client’s human resources team to ensure that security officers understand and enforce new policies and procedures designed to help protect staff, students, clients, and visitors. Sunstates also assists clients in specialized markets with industry-specific protocols. For instance, many trucking/distribution companies no longer allow passengers to reduce the risk of exposure and transmission in work vehicles.
Sunstates also helps clients and facilities be informed about exposure rates and cases in the area, so clients can make educated decisions quickly about changing or maintaining health and safety protocols.
Because security officers act as gatekeepers for facilities, clients and officers work together to pivot quickly as situations change.
Sunstates Security provides expert security for organizations of all types in a variety of urban and suburban settings. To discuss the benefits of our approach or to review your current security needs, please call Sunstates Security at 866-710-2019 or contact us.