Whether you wash your hands a little longer than you used to or you routinely use antibacterial wipes on high-contact surfaces in your office, you’ve probably picked up a few new hygiene practices since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
How long COVID-19 will affect our daily lives remains to be seen. Still, whether we’re facing COVID-19 or the seasonal flu, your organization benefits from staff being mindful of and maintaining a clean work environment. After all, a healthy workforce makes for a more productive organization across the board.
However, no matter what steps you’ve taken to protect your business against spreading viruses, there are likely some areas that remain touchpoint hotspots for your staff. For example, it’s easy to forget how many people need to handle keys to various areas or company vehicles throughout the day.
Let’s look at some key control practices that could let touchpoint hotspots slip through the cracks.
How many keys do you have that pass through multiple hands over the course of a day or a week? It could be a key to an office, a storeroom, or even a weapons locker. It might make sense to only have one key for that specific purpose so you don’t have multiple keys floating around your organization, being touched dozens of times before somebody cleans it.
You can avoid this by assigning keys to individuals on a case-by-case basis, so only one person is responsible for a specific key. Securing the keys in an electronic locking cabinet and restricting individual access to only the authorized user keeps keys secure when they’re not needed and ensures the responsible individual only handles them.
Pegboards and Labels
While many organizations manage keys by hanging them on pegboards, almost all use some form of tag on the key. Even if your pegs are individually labeled, you must rely on keys being returned to the right spot every time not to disrupt future key use. Tags are often used as a workaround to identify individual keys. However, that also means multiple people handle tags as they scour the board looking for a specific key.
You can eliminate pegboards and tags with an electronic key control cabinet with a method for identifying keys when they’re requested, such as with a small LED light. This keeps people from handling keys and tags they don’t need access to at that time, reducing touchpoints.
Whatever key control method you use, logbooks are critical to maintaining accurate key activity records. However, the logbook and pen can also be one of your hottest touchpoints as many people access keys throughout the day. Either you limit the use of logbook use to a single administrator, which pulls that person away from their other job duties, or you require everybody to clean the paper book with antibacterial wipes, which can damage the paper and limit the logbook’s effectiveness.
With an electronic method of tracking access, all access can be logged automatically. While your staff can still take steps to keep the system clean, doing so should be much easier and safer than ruining a paper book with wet wipes.
Practicing enhanced key control doesn’t just keep your organization secure. It can also help you maintain a clean workplace and keep your staff healthy. Here are some more tips for being safe and cleaning your keys and equipment.