Digitise contractor management to increase safety & security at your sites.

Restrictions, social distancing, and lockdowns across the globe have forced businesses in many industries to adapt to a changing working environment and overcome new challenges. However, they’ve also, in some cases, led to opportunities for businesses to improve processes across worksites.

For many industries, such as manufacturing, companies have been forced to embrace technology solutions that can help them help increase safety and security at their sites. One area that can’t be underestimated is managing contractors, casual workers, and visitors. While it has always been important to know who is working onsite, the pandemic highlighted a new need for contractor management and how improved processes could support contact tracing when needed. However, it’s also essential to make sure contractors and casual staff on industrial sites have had the required training and health and safety inductions. It’s also crucial to ensure that contractors are licensed and insured before letting them get to work.

Digitising contractor and visitor management
In the past, visitor and contractor management has usually been done using manual, paper-based forms and processes. However, this approach is prone to error and can make it difficult to accurately determine who is onsite at any given time.

COVID-19 has emphasised the importance of being able to securely manage contractors and visitors to sites and has highlighted the need for more secure processes. Contractors can often move between various sites, which makes it even more important to be able to accurately trace their movements if an incident was to occur. In terms of health and safety onsite, the nature of contractors’ movements means that they could be an infection vector, making it all the more important to be able to accurately pinpoint where they were, how long they were there for, and whom they came into contact with. While the pandemic won’t be around at this scale forever, other health challenges will come and go. It will therefore be beneficial to help manage contractors onsite in case of disruptive flu seasons or other health and safety risks into the future.

New technology for new challenges
Modern solutions to address these challenges include digital visitor management systems. These are cost effective, yet highly efficient, solutions that track visitors and contractors and include more information than would be possible with manual sign-in sheets or other forms of confirmation. They let companies dramatically improve safety and compliance across their sites, while simultaneously achieving a return on investment from the digital visitor management system through reduced overheads and administrative costs involved in managing contractors.

For example, a digital visitor management system can include a kiosk placed at a site’s entry or reception. Placing it close to office staff can help ensure that all visitors and contractors sign in upon entry using the system, without having to dedicate resources to manually sign them in and conduct inductions. By removing the need for dedicated staff members to manage visitors, businesses can also lower costs and redirect those workers to more valuable, growth-oriented tasks.

You can look at combining a digital system with a temperature checking device to lower the risk of infected people entering the business. The same system can automatically notify staff onsite if a contractor’s temperature is high so they can determine whether that person should be let onsite in the event of a health risk. This can help protect the business and all its workers during outbreaks like COVID-19, and it can also help prevent the spread of other infectious diseases such as influenza. Deploying these solutions now can futureproof the organisation against other health events.

These systems provide an added layer of support when it comes to keeping contractors and other visitors safe onsite. Like the government’s COVID-19 check-in application, a digital visitor management system can use a QR code to direct contractors to a sign-in page onsite. Visitors can even pre-sign in using a dedicated website, saving time once they arrive. Companies can also request specific information from visitors and contractors, including details regarding accreditations or licences. Before they can finish checking in, contractors can also be required to complete a site induction or safety checklist.

Digital visitor management systems provide a snapshot of who is onsite at any time and also ensure that all contractors and visitors have completed the necessary inductions. In case of emergency, it’s also easier to determine who should be onsite so that, if anyone is missing, first responders can be alerted and can start searching for them sooner. The latest digital visitor management systems store all of this information in a secure database in real time. This means the information can only be accessed by authorised users, protecting the privacy of contractors while ensuring the business has the information it needs to keep everyone safe.

While the need for more effective ways to track and trace visitors and contractors onsite has been accelerated and highlighted by the pandemic, there are many other benefits that digital visitor management systems can provide. These include cost reductions due to less time spent managing visitors and an increased ability to manage the health, safety, and security of the entire workforce including contractors and visitors.

While the need for contractor and visitor management in terms of specific contact tracing may disappear in time, its benefits will linger. It’s important for businesses to prepare for potential future needs by modernising their visitor and contractor management processes for increased accuracy and control, without increasing costs.

Discover our range of digital visitor and contractor management solutions today, such as Pitney Bowes LobbyTrac and our infrared temperature scanning device PB TempCheck.

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