COVID-19 – LESSONS LEARNED SO FAR
No 1: Because once they’re on-site, it’s too late….
When the reality of the current COVID-19 outbreak hit us at OneLook Systems in early March, we quickly set about putting a plan in place to see how we could help our clients navigate through this unsettling time by implementing new COVID-19 controls and functionality to their electronic permit to work and contractor management system (SafePermit). Although incredibly busy, concerned and sometimes even overwhelmed with the situation unfolding, the majority of our clients were very receptive to how our solution could help them reduce their risk. One thing that we have always promised our customers has been our guarantee of compliance, that any contractor coming onto their site would be 100% safe and compliant, so we wanted to make sure that given all the circumstances around COVID-19 that we could still guarantee that.
The simple fact is that we are all now operating in a different environment. This is one where every person and company are doing their utmost to see how they can stay safe, relevant, move forward and hopefully continue to work. As a company who operates globally with some of the world’s largest manufacturers, we at OneLook Systems set out to see how we could adapt and react positively for the benefit of our customers.
After some detailed internal and external conversations with our clients we quickly rolled out changes to our client sites as part of our new COVID-19 company policy. The advantages of having a electronic configurable solution such as SafePermit is that we can implement changes quickly, and this has never been more important to us and our clients. The early system changes/upgrades we made to our clients’ electronic work permits, inductions and visitor management system were well received and helped our clients react to the risk of an infected contractor coming on site. However, what we quickly learned was that this situation was an ever-changing one which required almost daily changes in order to adapt, and none more so than on our visitor management platform. You simply cannot be effective with a paper based solution in this instance. This is, after all, your first touchpoint with qualified contractors coming on to site and you have to be sure this step is done correctly, or else the other parts don’t really matter. To quote one of our clients “This has to be right because once they’re on site, it’s simply too late and you’re in trouble then!”
So, what do we do:
Here is the current 3 step process, with COVID-19 updates from one of our large global clients:
Step 1 - Book a visitor or contractor
Immediately upon logging into SafePermit, our visitor management functionality easily allows you to book a contractor (or any site visitor) in for a site visit. The booker is then presented with the following new warning:
Step 2 - Confirmation via email:
Once the person has been booked in for their visit, they are sent a booking confirmation email to let them know exactly what is expected from them before coming on site. If this booking is tied to an electronic permit being raised for on-site work, then they will also receive this notification.
This email now includes an updated self-declaration form which has been tailored to that company’s COVID-19 policy, which they have to fill out and return ahead of their visit. Given the rapidly changing nature of COVID-19, it is easy for the client to make changes to both the email and form on a regular basis within SafePermit.
The email will also include all your usual HSE policy and site procedures so that all visitors are fully aware of all site safety requirements pre-arrival:
Step 3 - Arrival:
When the contractor/visitor arrives on site on their given day and time, they are checked in by the gatekeeper/reception after they verify their details. The host is now sent an email notifying them of their responsibilities as part of this booking and reminding them to verify that the self-declaration form has been submitted. Not having this step done will deny entry to site. By using SafePermit, no non-compliant contractor can come on site!
Your contractor is now here to work but you have the added reassurance of vastly minimizing your risk for an infected person coming onto site by using electronic visitor management from OneLook Systems. Our ePTW solution will also ensure of course that this person is qualified to be carrying out the specific work required so that extra layer of compliance and assurance remains in place, while our induction functionality can deliver electronic updated inductions and training at short notice to give yet another level of compliance. Essentially a paper-based process cannot offer you this level of assurance or adaptability.
Ultimately every person and every company globally is in uncharted waters when it comes to COVID-19 and must continue to proactively adapt and reactively change to ensure that they are as safe as possible, and those who manufacture essential goods, need to keep on manufacturing. Given that our solution is cloud based and so is equally accessible from your home office, it hasn’t stopped the flow of contractors coming on-site to perform essential work even if most staff are working remotely in the present climate.
Our lessons learned so far have shown how an effective visitor booking system is the first step to ensuring that all future interactions with your contractors are done as safely as possible. Is your company’s’ visitor system providing you with the best possible protection? Are you still relying on paper? Have you 100% confidence that all contractors coming on-site are fully compliant? If not, we are here to help. Contact OneLook Systems now for more information.