W
hat can we do to get people back into the office and confident they’re working for an organization that’s invested in keeping them safe and healthy?

The advent of the COVID-19 virus has dramatically reconfigured priorities in the facility management world. Companies and organizations throughout the entire economy are looking for a comprehensive solution that will create a safe workplace now and into the future, regardless of the what virus, bacteria, or other airborne pollutants might be out there and facility managers are ideally positioned to play a key role in providing that solution.

And it’s not just a matter of simply editing the job description. As a profession, the facility management community has a clear moral and ethical obligation to help the organizations it serves and the people who work in those organizations return to the workplace confident that they will be safe, not only from the current pandemic but from whatever the future may hold—be it flu or similar viruses, bacteria, or other pollutants.

It’s a truly global challenge. As Rajesh Pandit, managing director for CBRE’s Global Workplace Solutions, India and Property Management, India, Middle East, and North Africa, noted earlier this year in an article in the Times of India, the pandemic has redefined employee experience and expectations completely.

Writes Pandit, “As organizations prepare for their reopening, there is a growing need for employers and occupiers to assure and demonstrate to their associates about their safe return to the workplaces and ensuring their safety in the longer run. Demonstrable actions from employers will go a long way in reassuring the associates, with facilities managers being required to drive most of these wellness initiatives.”

Are you ready to meet that challenge? Putting it simply, if you don’t yet have a good answer to that question, now’s the time to start working on one.

Over the past several months, Special-T has been gearing up to support you on that effort. Our well-established role as a provider of value-driven tables and other products for workplace and learning environments is still very much in place and thriving. But joining that part of the company as a key element of a significantly expanded value proposition is Safe-T Workplace Products, a wholly-owned subsidiary that’s designed to operate as a one-stop resource to create a COVID-19-secure environment for people working in commercial and institutional spaces, healthcare and assisted living, and education.

The Safe-T Workplace Products offering aligns along with three main categories, what we call the three pillars of Workplace Health and Safety. They are:

Safe-T Workplace ProductsFirst Pillar: Entry Screening. Working in a partnership with one of the country’s leading facility entry and access control solutions providers, Safe-T Entry Access powered by Clear2 represents the first line of defense against transmission of the virus and delivers a comprehensive strategy to safeguard people and mitigate employer liability.

The Clear2Work solution, comprised of a mobile app and a facial recognition temperature verification kiosk, makes daily screening quick and effective by combining mobile technology with temperature verification.

Also included: a prescreening feature that allows for the initial daily symptom assessment to begin offsite in order to mitigate interaction of sick employees, while providing a virtually touchless check-in process upon entering the office. Users complete a daily health screening in the Clear2 app before they come into work and can validate their status with a quick temperature check once they arrive.

In addition, the Clear2Work solution features a powerful, user-friendly administrative portal to manage and organize screening data, providing a complete wellness solution.

Screens and barriersSecond Pillar: Screens and Barriers. From Safe-T Workplace Products’ parent company, Special-T comes an extensive array of specially designed screens, space dividers, and workplace barriers that support social distancing efforts in the workplace.

The screens are designed to block aerosol transmission and can be easily retrofitted into existing cubicles, open plan work areas, student and teacher desks, dining and collaboration areas. They are available in Clear Plexiglas, Polycarbonate, Frosted Acrylic, and PET and come in various sizes including custom options.

Third Pillar: Air Purification. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), close to 80 percent of indoor air includes dirt, dust, mold, fungus, bacteria, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), allergens, germs, and viruses including COVID-19. That’s why even before COVID-19, breathing unhealthy air at work caused headaches, sinus congestion, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, sore throats, and other illnesses that contributed to absenteeism and other concerns. In the midst of a pandemic, the stakes are even higher.

Safe-T Workplace ProductsWorking in a partnership with Surgically Clean Air, a leading manufacturer of medical-grade air purification systems, Safe-T Workplace Solutions now offers a solution, the JADE air purification system, that not just filters pollutants but destroys them!

Jade utilizes Surgically Clean Air’s multi-stage air purifying technologies that work together to clean, purify, and re-energize the indoor air.

The multi-stage filtration system captures airborne impurities such as viruses, bacteria, bio-aerosols, odors, gases, disinfectants, particulates, molds, fungi, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), and many other pollutants that are found in the inside air in workplaces and residences. The negative ion generator makes indoor air feel more pure, clean and energized to help combat fatigue.

For an air purifier to deliver its benefits throughout the indoor space it needs to move large volumes of air through its filtration system effectively without impacting those people that are closest to it by creating a “breeze” or being too loud.

Unlike most air filters, which sit on the floor, Safe-T uses a patented (pending) bracket to provide 360-degree air intake and position its units as close to mouth level as possible.

In addition, Jade moves large volumes of air through its filtration system effectively without negatively impacting productivity by creating a “breeze” or being too loud for those people that are closest to it.

The three pillars of workplace health and safety from Safe-T Workplace Products deliver a multi-tiered approach to addressing a wide variety of transmission vectors. They not only take away the fear factor from returning to work but also serve to limit employer liability by demonstrating a clear commitment to keeping employees safe and healthy and a willingness to invest to do just that.

As such, they represent a critical resource for the facility management community as it seeks to respond to what may well turn out to be the most significant challenge it has ever faced.

To learn more about the three pillars of workplace health and safety and their role in supporting the effort to get people back to work, visit the Special-T website or contact Tatiana Rodoslavova, Vice President of Business Development.