Never has there been a time when the safety of people within the workplace been so immensely critical as it is now, as millions of South Africa’s workforce slowly return to work amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The country’s places of work need to be meticulously prepared and managed to comply with Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) regulations. Integrated project Alliance (IPA) has introduced an End-2-End (E2E) concept to assist companies to ready themselves for the return of their workforce and be legally compliant.
IPA has brought in expertise from across all sectors including building management, health and safety, engineers and change managers have come together to offer assistance in assessing the risks and solutions to ensure that companies are providing a compliant work environment.
Cathleen Bayne, Development and Project Director at IPA, “With such a virulent virus, companies have to comply with returning to work lockdown protocols in order to keep the workforce as safe as feasibly possible. We assist companies to assess all aspects of their environment that may be problematic or require some intervention”.
“Our holistic approach to reviewing workplace operations, using DEL guidelines, includes assessment of such elements as mode of transport of workforce, entry and exit access control systems, traffic flow within the workplace, workstation layout and configurations, office furniture, HVAC systems and air quality, lifts in terms of capacity and size, switches and control panels, equipment positioning and their functioning and volume of use as well as density and composition of work areas – cellular or open plan” said Bayne.
The E2E concept offered by IPA reviews the workplace by means of a workplace assessment, and post-assessment then provides clients with a full range of products, services and packaged solutions that will ensure that all aspects of the workplace are not only regulatory compliant, but minimise the need to find additional floor space. “We aim to preserve current configurations wherever possible. Our aim is to eliminate areas of high use and poor hygiene” commented Bayne.
IPA’s E2E offers a tiered set of solutions from quick, available, practical and legal compliance, through to future proofing the space for medium to long term use with more permanent solutions using automation and technology.
The concept of the IPA E2E offering is offers cost efficiencies as it is primarily based on a needs and risk analysis linked to the client’s budget, Bayne commented “The solutions can be off the shelf low-tech or highly automated and technology driven”.
E2E is 100 per cent adaptable and scalable from an office or retail environment to an industrial plant operation.