The world of risk management has changed almost beyond recognition.
Since the earliest days of the pandemic, businesses have battled an onslaught of new, ever-changing challenges and risks – most of which have never been experienced in our lifetime. With some leaders believing that widespread working from home is impacting their business’ productivity, collaboration and creativity”, many employees are now being encouraged back to the office.
As organizations start to reopen their doors, risk managers now face a monumental challenge: protecting employees, customers and businesses from coronavirus.
This is by no means straightforward. Not only will your level of risk exposure vary significantly depending on your industry, location types and size of business, but guidelines differ by country, state and even – in some instances – by city. As a result, ensuring each of your locations is compliant with the relevant regulations will be extremely complex.
But is compliance enough?
While monitoring specific guidelines in each region, risk managers should keep one single objective at the forefront: to keep your people and your business as safe as possible from COVID-19. Being compliant doesn’t necessarily mean you’re as safe as possible, and the most effective risk strategies will go above and beyond regional regulations to minimize exposure to the virus.
In this article, we explore how a simple, daily self-screening process can help mitigate the three core risks COVID-19 currently poses to your business: employee illness, legal action for failing to prevent an outbreak, and reputational damage.
What is Self-Screening?
Although not currently part of regulatory guidance in many regions, daily self-screening of employees can help identify symptoms of the virus and encourage those potentially carrying COVID-19 to stay at home. By asking employees a few short questions about their health each morning, you can manage and mitigate the risk of a workplace outbreak – with 67% of US employers already requiring screening or testing of some sort.
Due to the growing stigma around receiving a positive test result, many employees may feel uncomfortable disclosing their symptoms or concerns directly to management. Through effective daily self-screening, you can help to remove this stigma and encourage anyone who suspects they may have the virus to stay at home.
At its essence, self-screening means encouraging employees to ask themselves each morning: could I potentially be carrying coronavirus? Am I safe to attend work today?
Protecting Employees at Work
It’s crucial employees are safeguarded against the virus at work – whether that be an office, factory, retail site or other workplace. An outbreak of COVID-19 could have numerous consequences for your business, including:
- Impeding the health and wellbeing of your workforce
- Damaging morale and trust in leadership for a potentially lengthy period of time
- The closure of specific sites, with a loss of productivity at a time when you need it most.
These potential outcomes, added to your corporate responsibility to limit the spread of coronavirus, should mean that reducing workplace exposure is now one of your business’ highest priorities.
Creating a standardized, secure and simple self-screening process can help give your employees the added peace of mind they need in order to go to work with greater confidence. By clearly indicating to each employee whether they should attend work, and communicating this to entry management personnel in real-time, you can help keep those with potential symptoms away from the premises to limit transmission.
While many businesses are checking employees for illness markers upon entry, such as through taking temperatures at the door, daily self-screening can take place at home. In conjunction with de-densified workspaces, PPE, and a clean working environment, self-screening can add an extra layer of protection to help reduce the opportunity for the virus to transmit among your workforce.
Of course, with asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 still prevalent, no risk mitigation strategy can remove 100% of your exposure to the virus. However, the right self-screening tool can empower employers to quickly and effectively identify who is it risk if an outbreak occurs. So you can track and trace within your company, and ask those who have potentially come into contact with the virus to stay at home.
Protecting Your Business
Should someone contract the virus when at work, you could be at risk of regulatory scrutiny. If your business is found to be non-compliant with the relevant guidelines, and to have consequently put staff at unnecessary risk, you could potentially find yourself facing legal action and even financial penalties.
With some of the guidelines being open to interpretation, and others being difficult to prove compliance with, you may come under this scrutiny despite having put all the appropriate measures in place. By going above and beyond to keep employees as safe as possible from the virus, with the extra layer of protection provided by daily self-screening, you can help minimize the risk of regulatory scrutiny to simultaneously protect your business.
Leading organizations will also establish key processes and protocols to ensure the measures they have put in place are fully documented, demonstrating their efforts to keep employees as safe as possible. However, this can be resource-intensive – and at a time when many companies are operating with reduced workforces, businesses can easily neglect this essential but time-consuming element of their risk mitigation.
Fortunately, daily self-screening platforms, such as Screenin.me, make the documentation and reporting of employee health and safety measures quick, simple and automatic. With time-stamped records of who has completed the daily self-screening, and whether they were granted or denied access to the building, Screenin.me empowers businesses to quickly provide evidence of their commitment to limiting exposure to COVID-19. So you can simultaneously protect your employees and your business from the risks associated with the pandemic with a single, affordable application.
Protecting Your Reputation
Of course, regulatory scrutiny, legal action and even employee whistleblowing have the potential to significantly damage the reputation of your company. This could mean many different things, depending on the nature of your business – from loss of employee trust to impacted sales and revenue generation.
In the worst case, large brands could find themselves featured widely in the press as having an outbreak of COVID-19, potentially deterring customers through either a perceived risk of trading with your company or a negative view of your corporate values. In today’s world, Corporate Social Responsibility is increasingly important, and failure to protect your workforce adequately could result in your business being viewed as unethical.
The best defense is a good offence. Once an outbreak has taken hold, it could already be too late to start defending your business’ reputation. Through a fully documented, standardized and effective self-screening methodology, you can prepare to defend yourself in the worst-case scenario – while making it less likely that an outbreak will occur.
What is Screenin.me?
As a simple, effective and affordable self-screening platform, Screenin.me helps risk managers to protect their employees, business and reputation against coronavirus. Available at employees’ fingertips via their mobile or desktop, our cloud-based platform can prompt your workforce to answer a short set of health questions before attending work – and provide a clear PASS or FAIL result to remove any doubt as to whether they’re safe to come into work.
Screenin.me makes the process of reporting illness markers, or the need to self-isolate, entirely confidential. By only granting select personnel – such a reception, HR or entry management staff – access to the PASS/FAIL result for individuals, and never to the specific question responses, Screenin.me helps you to prevent those who have failed the daily self-screening test from entering the building, while protecting confidentiality.
As well as contributing to a safe working environment, Screenin.me will automatically generate accurate, accessible records to show compliance with health and safety protocols. Questions are defined by each individual employer, allowing you to grant admission based on the criteria most relevant to you. Automatically providing real-time reporting and documentation to show the steps taken to protect employees, our solution is designed to work with and enhance the physical and procedural measures that employers have already implemented in their organization.
Help mitigate the risk to your employees, business and reputation with daily self-screening: get in touch with one of our experts today.
Talk to our team today about how our platform can assist your business with compliance.