Greg Hart
Nov 25, 2021

Why good visitor management is vital in the COVID-19 era

Why good visitor management is vital in the COVID-19 era

Why good visitor management is vital in the COVID-19 era

If you’re in charge of health and safety on a job site, you’re playing a vital role in New Zealand’s COVID-19 effort.

Good visitor management is critical to helping stop the spread of the Delta strain virus. But if you’re looking to improve yours, where do you even start (and why bother)?

In this article we’ll discuss:

  1. What Delta means for NZ and why everyone keeps talking about it.
  2. Where visitor management comes into things.
  3. Four benefits of a digital visitor management system.

COVID-19’s Delta strain has changed the game

  1. We understand you’re probably sick of hearing ‘Delta, Delta, Delta’ (especially if you’re from Auckland).  But its differences are what makes it so tricky:
  1. It's more infectious. Experts suggest it could be 50% more infectious, or even higher (Yale).
  2. People with Delta hold as much as 300x more of the virus in their bodies (Reuters). This is known as a high ‘viral load’, and the higher it is the more likely it is that the virus will stay in the body for a long time, and do more harm as a result.
  3. Delta does more damage. People with the Delta virus are more likely to need hospitalisation than if they had the Alpha strain.

Learn more: NZ Ministry of Health

So, we have to be even more careful at work

It can be tempting to be relaxed on a job site if you know everyone well, have been working with most or all your colleagues for a while, and you trust them. There’s probably a pretty social culture. None of this is a bad thing.

In the Delta era, that ‘she’ll be right' attitude needs to be put away for a while

The reality is that it takes just one person walking in the door in the morning to make many more people sick. Then they go home to their flatmates or families and potentially spread it even further (much of the community spread in the 2021 Delta outbreak happened within people’s homes).

Again, this isn’t causing for panic - it causes to pause, take stock, and ensure we’re still doing what we can even though the pandemic has dragged on for so long.

For those of you in remote communities, remember: it still only takes one person to put even the most rural towns at risk (think about the Wanaka incident, the Palmerston North truck driver, or the Northland resurgence).

This is where good visitor management comes in

Solid visitor management is the wall between your job site and the global pandemic.

Anyone entering or exiting the job site must sign in or out and fill out the appropriate forms, inductions and training so that you always know three things:

  • Who exactly is on your site, and when were they there?
  • Were those individuals trained in COVID-19 protocols?
  • Have they felt ill recently?

A paper-based system isn’t enough

Modern visitor management must be digital.

Paper-based check-in systems aren’t quick or contactless, and - quite honestly - most people can’t be bothered with them (especially if they’re hopping in and out a lot and don’t want to sign in/out each time).

A digital system with a simple scan-in/out system (such as a QR code on the door) is faster and more effective and can encourage take-up among workers and visitors.

4 benefits of paperless visitor management in the COVID era

1. No paper means limited contact

We’ve all learned by now the importance of reducing contact with one another while COVID-19 remains a national concern.

Swapping from pen and paper to a QR code means you reduce a potential contact hazard on the job site. Workers and visitors can sign in using their own device that only they have touched, rather than a pen that everyone has touched.

  • Bonus benefit: Going fully paperless with your health and safety means workers can also fill out forms and sign documents on their devices too, further reducing points of contact during inductions and training. See below.

2. Combine visitor management with other OHS forms

Some digital management systems you can purchase on their own, but investing in one that comes combined with other paperless OHS functions gives you the full suite of paperless tools.

This will enable your health and safety officers to ensure that every single aspect of their work is digital and as contactless as possible. Prestarts, healthy worker checks, site inductions, visitor checklists, COVID-19 training, re-opening after Level 4 lockdowns - all of it can be done on a mobile device, with files saved to the cloud instead of needing to be printed and then scanned.

3. Assist authorities with contact tracing

Contact tracing is one of the most important ways we as a country can halt the spread of COVID-19 and get back to life as it was.

If you’ve invested in smart, digital visitor management, your job site will play an important role in that contact tracing initiative. This is because you’ll have in your pocket a list of everyone who was on the site and at what times - data that you can turn over to the Ministry of Health so they can contact the families of these individuals and ask people to get tested.

You yourself can also ask people to isolate

If you know that Delta has appeared on your job site, you can quickly communicate with everyone involved to ask them to get tested and protect their communities - probably even faster than the Ministry of Health can.

Fast reaction speeds are critical to stopping the spread of Delta, and you’re going to be vital to that effort.

4. Store your visitor data in the cloud

With the digital system we’ve described, all of your data and paperwork can be stored in the cloud. That means it’s housed on the internet in a protected server, which key people in your business can access at any time from anywhere, on any device.

These records can then be turned into data that you, or your admins, can study. You’ll spot trends over time (i.e. perhaps PPE use is slipping), and be able to quickly draft corrective actions, company communications or compliance reports.

Ready to get started? See this software in action

Don’t just take our word for it.

If you want to see these tools in action, we’re here to help. Book a free one-on-one demo and we’ll walk you through our advanced digital OHS management tool, Site App Pro, and show you how it’s been built from the ground up for the NZ construction and building environments.

Book your demo today here.

About the author

Greg Hart

Head of Design at Comply Pro

We’re not sure how Greg became one of NZ’s best UX designers and SaaS marketers. Somehow it started with tunnelling, moved through ostrich farming and evolved into travelling the globe as a rock guitarist. He claims he “just has talent” but most of us have decided he was abducted by aliens. So what’s next for this multi-talented guy? That’s right you guessed it - launching his own craft beer. Sign us up as taste testers!

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