Safer Workplaces Rely on Automated Contact Tracing
Workplaces have faced many new challenges since the outbreak of the global pandemic in 2020. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages employers to collaborate with health departments when investigating workplace exposures to infectious diseases, including COVID-19. Quick and coordinated actions, including case investigation and contact tracing, may lower the need for business closures to prevent the spread of the disease.
Case investigation is the identification and inquiry of individuals with confirmed and probable diagnoses of a reportable communicable disease, such as COVID-19. Contact tracing follows case investigation and is a process to identify, monitor, and support individuals who may have been exposed.1
In general, when a COVID-19 case is identified that impacts a workplace the health department may:
- Ask the employer for help in understanding the risk for transmission in the workplace
- Rely on the employer to identify exposures and contacts in the workplace
Manual contact tracing can be a complicated, time-consuming process. It relies heavily on people remembering who they have had interactions with and how long those interactions have been. In a busy workday it is difficult for an employee to recall all the people they have encountered, and even more difficult to recall everyone they have come into contact with over the course of several days or weeks to gather all the information necessary to complete thorough contact tracing required in the case of a COVID-19 exposure at a worksite.
An automated contact tracing solution, like that from HID, turns a complicated process into a few mouse clicks. The wearable Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons, Wi-Fi gateways and a cloud-based user interface are easy to deploy. In addition to contact tracing, HID’s Workplace Safety & Health solution can provide automated social distancing utilizing the same technology. The beacons can provide real-time audible and visual alerts to encourage employees to keep a safe distance from one another.
How it works:
The simplicity of installation makes this technology work well in all types of business settings — office, manufacturing, retail — anywhere employers are committed to keeping their employees safe.
Joe Schuck is the Product Manager of IoT Location Services which now includes HID’s latest product offering in Workplace Safety. He has 15+ years of experience in product management building hardware and software solutions for healthcare, e-commerce, automation, manufacturing, and safety industries.