COVID-19 has upended life as we know it. Schools are closed, sporting events cancelled, and travel is on hold. Businesses have been forced to shutter their doors or severely restrict operations to prevent the spread of infection.
Now, as some states begin to lift stay-at-home orders, corporate executives, managers, and safety leaders will have to work together to figure out how to move forward responsibly. But it won’t simply be business as usual. Priorities have shifted, and companies face a number of new considerations as they transition from lockdown to re-open.
All Hands on Deck: Safety Priorities During a Pandemic
If you’re like most organizations, you probably approved your 2020 budget back in the fall. You spent weeks or months discussing future goals and needs. After many back-and-forth negotiations, management greenlighted expenses for new construction projects and upgrades to existing facilities and equipment. Of course, those budget assumptions were based on a prediction for the upcoming year.
But with the rise of COVID-19, the phrase “safety is our number one priority” has taken on new meaning. Businesses have devoted their full attention and resources to slowing the spread of COVID-19, fulfilling essential missions, and softening the blow to operations and finance. The primary considerations during lockdown have been establishing social distancing or work-from-home arrangements, securing necessary supplies like masks and gloves, and preparing workers for some new potential hazards they might encounter.
To do this, businesses have had to divert dollars away from approved capital and operating budgets to their coronavirus response. So it’s understandable that many of the projects you planned last year have now been delayed or canceled. Universities have postponed construction of new buildings. Manufacturers have suspended planned facility upgrades. Everything is on hold, and no one knows for sure when or if these projects will be back on.
Getting Back to Business
Even as businesses reopen, coronavirus will dominate the conversation for the foreseeable future. However, astute safety and facility leaders recognize they can’t let that push day-to-day safety down the list of priorities. After all, slips and falls are just as dangerous as they were six months ago.
With little wiggle room left in your budget, you’ll have to get creative — something we’re no strangers to during this crisis. We’ve all exercised in our living rooms instead of the gym, or held virtual happy hours over Zoom instead of at the local pub.
Similarly, instead of spending money on major capital improvements, many people are looking for ways to extend the life of their current facilities. To make a worn-out set of stairs last, they’re installing step covers over the existing ones. Rather than tear out cracked cement, companies are covering walkways that might otherwise pose a tripping hazard. These are quick and relatively inexpensive fixes that will last well beyond the current crisis.
Safeguard Technology: Your Safety Experts
At Safeguard, we understand your priorities have been impacted by the need to deal with COVID-19. Like you, our first priority is keeping people safe and healthy.
Wrestling with the decision to delay or cancel capital improvement projects isn’t an easy thing to do. Whether you’re scrapping your plans or just postponing them for a while, Safeguard Technology is here to help. We can extend the life of your existing ladders, ramps, stairs, and walkways so you can increase safety and still meet evolving budget constraints. Contact us to speak to one of our experienced team members today.