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Home>Security>Guarding>Securitas focuses on solutions designed to combat spread of COVID-19 at work

Securitas focuses on solutions designed to combat spread of COVID-19 at work

04 June 2020

WITH THE phased return to work now underway, the onus is very much on businesses to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Key considerations include the identification of infected individuals, minimising  contact with potentially contaminated surfaces and social distancing measures to avoid the risk of transmission.

“It’s in everyone’s interests that the country is put back to work quickly and safely,” observed Gary Agnew, technical development director at security solutions provider Securitas. “To achieve this, organisations must reduce the risk of infection throughout their premises, including entry points, offices and meeting rooms, canteens and breakout areas, toilets, smoking areas – even car parks. Thought also needs to be given to movement around buildings and high traffic areas where two-metre distancing might be difficult.”

Securitas is now working with myriad clients to implement procedures designed to underpin the Health and Safety of their returning workforces. “A risk-based and consultative approach enables us to combine different solutions to meet their overall operational needs,” explained Agnew.

The company has been examining solutions for checking body temperature. including real-time people flow control measures that use occupancy management tools. These can be particularly useful where traffic is usually high such as in retail, dining areas and toilets, or where space is limited, such as in meeting or changing rooms. Cameras with built-in analytics are placed on main entry/exit points. These identify each individual as they approach or leave an area and adjust the total accordingly. A display screen is set up at the entrance with a simple counter showing the current numbers and remaining capacity. Once the area is full, a polite request to wait is displayed, which can then be further supported by an audio announcement.

There are also temperature measurement solutions which make use of thermal cameras to measure the temperature of individuals entering the premises. These cameras look to measure temperature at the eye canthus (ie the tear duct area) which can then help to identify elevated skin temperature. This can be used to support contactless screening processes when members of staff, visitors or clients are attending sites.

Securitas has also been focused on the installation of fever screening doorways similar in nature to those used in airports for metal detection. Where such doorways are already in use, a thermal module linked to an LCD information screen can be incorporated to give a highly accurate temperature reading. These solutions also include metal detection so can be used for dual purposes.

For their part, hand-held thermal cameras can be deployed quickly for non-contactless temperature checking. This approach requires someone to operate the camera.

Contactless entry systems

Touchless access control systems include an automated entry system using infrared sensors which detect movement within close range and unlock the connected door. Compatible with most existing access control system, this solution is quick and cost-effective to install.

Remote video surveillance can be used to observe on-site behaviour, monitor and manage the flow of people and support occupancy and distancing management solutions including:

*Security audio speakers to deliver Health and Safety messaging about handwashing and maintaining two metres distance

*Cross line detection to alert when walkway boundaries are broken for support with social distancing or access control relating to restricted areas

*Video analytics deployed to calculate average occupancy numbers and length of visit to manage workplace capacity and flow of movement

All IP devices are monitored and continually ‘health-checked’ by staff at the Securitas Operations Centre (SOC). This is done remotely so in a retail environment a shop owner can focus on running their business while SOC operators keep a watchful eye, providing real-time alerts when security risks are spotted, areas become crowded, segregation lines are crossed or specific zones reach capacity.

The health of the security equipment itself is also monitored remotely, thereby ensuring optimum performance and protection without Securitas personnel having to set foot on a given client’s premises.