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A New Phase

By Joan Mantini

While the many people that have been deemed “essential workers” have not stopped working throughout the coronavirus pandemic, some employees have just begun anxiously returning to the workplace. And, others will be soon to follow with the conflict to reopen the country. Even though business owners and employees alike want to get back to some aspect of normal, it does not come without anxiety or the questions of “what if I get sick?”

With this fear in mind, companies are doing what they can to keep positive and safe work environments—creating detailed safety plans and sanitization procedures in facilities; providing protective equipment; and some are even working in the direction of having testing available for employees who show symptoms of COVID-19.

One company trying to help workers feel more in control and less anxious is New York-based consulting firm FROM, The Digital Transformation Agency. It has been hard at work developing a unique and secure social distancing app that helps employees keep their distance at work.

How does it work, you ask? According to press materials, the employee installs the app on their phone and wears it on an armband at work. If employees come within six feet of each other, Social Safety alerts them through beeps, vibration and light display. As employees get closer together, the sounds and display become more urgent, so there is no ambiguity or confusion about what to do.

The social distancing app also keeps a secure, private record of accidental close contact between people at a location, so that, in the case of infection, employers will be able to warn employees of potential exposure risk for self-quarantine purposes.

Many companies have been working diligently and rising to the challenges COVID-19 has brought, creating solutions both onsite and off. In this issue of Workplace Material Handling & Safety, readers can find answers to common questions in the “Special COVID-19 Coverage,” which addresses preventing the spread of COVID-19 and how to clean safety equipment, addressing questions such as:

  • What are the best products for safety equipment?
  • How often should I clean safety equipment?
  • Should employees share equipment or have their own?
  • What are the best practices to follow during the pandemic?

Also amongst the articles in the June issue, we take a closer look at hand protection and how to choose the right glove during the shortage to ensure that workers are safe and protected while on the job.

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