The importance of remote monitoring when returning to work

London, UK

With the aim being for the minimum number of people to work on site, businesses should consider the safety, security and peace of mind of those that are.

Stanley technology is offering online advice on how existing security technology might be used for alternative purposes as businesses prepare to return to work when the lockdown restrictions are eased. The company points out that technology is not the only solution, but that it can be used in various alternative ways to assist in making businesses safer.

Electronic security is prevalent throughout business premises, most frequently used to deter crime and keep people out of places they shouldn’t be. According to Stanley Security, these systems are often multi-functional and may be leveraged to reinforce COVID-19 workplace policies and mitigate health, safety and security risks; from enhancing access control systems and updating visitor management or time and attendance software to investing in alarm verification monitoring and human temperature detection devices.

Video analytics

If a business has a large number of employees, then there will be issues with crowd and queue control. The simplest option is to have two metre markings on the floor and potentially manned guarding for control, but this can be expensive and adds to the number of people in the area, which ultimately you are aiming to reduce.  In this situation, Stanley Security suggests that CCTV video analytics is an option that enables one step further, by identifying when people are congregating in too small an area. Crowd video analytics focuses on specific areas, providing an estimation of the number of people present in a given area. The system can generate an alert if the occupancy of an area exceeds a specified threshold. An operative can then communicate with those people advising them to 2m social distancing requirements or even to move out of the area altogether.

The alternative is to monitor the queue through CCTV analytical software and combine it with an audio talk-down service, where operatives at a remote monitoring centre can issue a live alert. Many CCTV cameras already have two way audio so it may be that an existing external security cameras can be used for this purpose.

Thermal cameras

Thermal cameras can have a role to play but, they are not medical devices and cannot make a diagnosis of illness. However, where they can be effectively used, says Stanley Security, is to identify and alert users to someone who has an elevated temperature, but then this must be used alongside a well-defined protocol to effectively deal with any positive alerts.

Access restriction levels

An electronic access control system is the obvious solution here, but it needs to be a flexible, easy to use system that can offer the ability to instantly but temporarily remove access rights to an individual. A cloud-based system may be the best option as this can be carried out securely and remotely.

Facial recognition

The less people touch things in the workplace, the better.  According to Stanley, the latest guidance specifies that businesses should be ‘providing alternatives to touch-based security devices such as keypads” . When it comes to access control systems, proximity systems that enable users to present a card or tag at a reader, without needing to touch that reader, are an ideal, well-established alternative. These are relatively inexpensive in terms of capital outlay, but they do come with the ongoing cost of issuing and managing tags/cards. To avoid that biometric based system are an option, such as readers that feature iris recognition. Whilst these involve a larger capital outlay, the ongoing costs are minimal. Access control readers can be removed altogether from the equation if facial recognition is operated through a CCTV system. 

Stanley also suggests that the access control system can also deal with the issue of hygiene as the system could be linked to automatic hand sanitiser dispensers . Mounting an automatic hand sanitiser dispenser within the entrance of the premises, can help to ensure that people cannot gain access without first having sanitised their hands.

Maintaining security while working remotely

With the aim being for the minimum number of people to work on site, businesses should consider the safety, security and peace of mind of those that are. Here, remote monitoring services may be advisable. Video Safeguard, for example, uses CCTV monitoring with the latest video analytics to monitor employees who are working either alone or in high risk/high security locations from a Stanley monitoring Centre and react to any issues immediately. Another option is also the Stanley Guard personal alarm safety system in smartphone app format.

For a comprehensive remote solution, all on-site security – intercoms, access control and CCTV – can be used to take over the duties of some, if not all, manned guards on site. Monitoring centre operatives have full control over the security systems and can activate/deactivate alarms, alert the emergency services, direct people or vehicles to specific areas. It is an around the clock service, and can be more cost effective than employing a team of security guards on site. This solution could also help to monitor the new drop off points or transfer zones that have been recommended, to prevent people passing things directly to each other.


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