Over the next few weeks and months, as people gradually return to the workplace, business owners and facilities managers will need to prepare their buildings to be reoccupied within the limits set by social distancing guidelines.
Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure they have done all they can to reasonably minimise health and safety risks, considering each worker’s ability to physically return to work, as well as adapt the workplace itself.
Social distancing requirements mean there will be limits on the volume of people in a space at any one time, and employers will need to assess how the space is used to optimise flow and avoid bottlenecks.
Manage occupation limits
Managing and controlling population density can be achieved with Door Detective Plus, which monitors pedestrian movement in either direction through access-controlled doorways, passageways and corridors. When used in conjunction with the Fastlane Multilane Controller, the system offers a solution to the challenge of having too many people in one area, during the lunchtime rush in the canteen, in shared kitchen facilities at break times, common spaces and even toilets.
The Fastlane Connect Multilane Controller facilitates the convenient monitoring and control of up to 63 lanes of Fastlane turnstiles or Door Detective Plus doorways, via a small desktop touchscreen console. The Multilane Controller has always been able to maintain and report count data and has a threshold feature which will create a sum total population count over a chosen number of access points. The unit is set up with a total population threshold and told which of the doorways contribute to this count. Once the threshold is reached, the threshold display turns red and bleeps several times as a warning.
The adapted Multilane Controller helps facilities managers enforce a limit on numbers with the addition of a ‘lock’ feature, ensuring social distancing guidelines can be adhered to. By selecting the Door Detective Plus doorways which contribute to the count, setting a maximum limit and choosing ‘lock’, the chosen doors will automatically go into ‘no entry’ mode when the threshold is reached, ignoring further authorisation signals and showing a red light on entry until the number count drops to a safe level. Whilst the Door Detective doorway will lock for entry, the lanes/door can still be used to exit in the normal way. When someone does exit and thereby reduces the population count, the entrance control will reset to normal and allow additional people to enter.
This system could apply to multi-tenanted offices and large single company offices with shared facilities. By creating office ‘bubbles’, facilities such as kitchens and toilets can be assigned to groups of employees, and this information controlled via the access control system. Anyone attempting to enter the assigned facility from outside the bubble would be denied access, thereby preventing cross contamination between groups and ensuring numbers are limited.
Detect pedestrian one-way system violations
Maintaining social distancing consistently relies, to a large extent, on controlling the way the population within the building moves. Many offices have already implemented one-way systems for people moving through buildings, which avoids people having to pass too closely along a corridor. Able to detect direction of travel, Door Detective Plus also offers an effective way to ensure the one-way rules are adhered to, by sounding an alarm when there is a violation.
Prevent door propping
Even seemingly innocuous behaviours such as propping open emergency exit doors, which may be tempting on a hot day if air circulation units are switched off to minimise the spread of infection, can present safety issues. A fire door or emergency exit held open is an invitation for someone unauthorised to enter the building, but Door Detective Plus allows traffic to be monitored and will alert security personnel if there is a breach.
Similarly, propping open internal access-controlled doors – to the executive suites or server room, for example – may minimise hard surface touchpoints, but could leave your organisation and people exposed to other risk from unauthorised intruders gaining access. Simple modifications to doors to make them contactless, for instance installing footplates, can help reduce the risk of infection. Even enforcing the use of hand sanitiser before an employee can touch the door to gain entry is an option. Here, you can read more about the flexible customisations we’ve been working on to help solves our customers’ challenges which are a direct result of the pandemic.
One of the key benefits of the Door Detective Plus is that it is unobtrusive. Easily installed both sides of a doorway, the Door Detective Plus doesn’t require any floorspace and is available in a range of finishes to complement your existing décor.
“In the past, Door Detective has sometimes taken a back seat to our turnstile range of products,” comments Tony Smith, Major Accounts and Marketing Manager at IDL. “Many of the benefits Door Detective has brought our customers over the years – such as population counting and monitoring direction of travel – are now even more pertinent in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Customers where Door Detective is already installed are finding it’s helping them enforce best-practice as people return to the workplace, and we’ve seen increased demand for this product, especially when integrated with the recently updated Multilane Controller.”
For more information on how we can help you secure and protect your employees as they return to the workplace, get in touch with one of our team today on +44 (0)20 8890 5550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.