How the Australian Industry Took on COVID
Research into COVID-19 response from industrial workplaces released today by Nirovision
8 December 2020: 94 per cent of Australian industrial workplaces now have COVID-19 response plans, but only half of them (51%) are somewhat confident in the effectiveness, according to a new survey released today by Nirovision.
The COVID-19 and the Australian Industrial Workplace survey conducted late this year found that that a COVID-19 outbreak would have either a significant or very significant impact on the operations of 68% of industrial workplaces, with the most common impacts being shutdown of sites (28%) and reduced or halted production and operations (20%). However, only 8% of industrial workplaces would expect a loss of revenue and reduced staff working hours.
In comparison, only one in five businesses would feel only a moderate impact on operations.
Around half of respondents indicated that their greatest personal concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic were getting sick from COVID personally (52%), the impact on mental health (50%), impacts to or loss of business (49%) and the probability that they would pass COVID on to others (46%).
The provision of hand sanitiser/wipes, encouragement of face mask use and social distancing were the most implemented procedures (63%-65%) to combat a potential COVID-19 outbreak amongst those surveyed.
More than half (57%) of respondents believe that their workplace will return to a pre-COVID level of normality in less than a year, with around a third (31%) believing that normality will return between 1 and 2 years. Only 7% of respondents believed that their workplace will not return to a pre-COVID level of normality until we pass 2 years from now.
The mining, construction and medical services sectors expect to return to a ‘new normal’ fastest, while warehouses and logistics companies expect the longest delay to a return to normal operations. This directly correlates to their investment level in technology to protect against COVID-19, with medical services the largest investor followed by mining, construction and manufacturing who also conducted regular temperature checks most often.
“Most manufacturers have done a really good job tackling COVID although naturally the best plans devised by government and management groups usually have a degree of slip by the time they hit the real world”, explained Michael Brown, IT&C Director of Visium Networks. “The real challenge will be keeping their guard up as case numbers remain low or even sit at zero, particularly as summer approaches when it is less comfortable to wear masks and following COVID safe rules seems arbitrary when cases have been low a long time”.
More than two-thirds of respondents (67%) indicated their workplaces have invested in technology to assist against the pandemic, with temperature screening technologies (53%) and remote working/distance learning (50%) the most common technologies, followed by facial recognition temperature screening technology (41%) and access control technology (33%). 25% has invested in robot/drone deliveries and 20% in 3D printing of medical equipment.
A majority of respondents (77%) indicated that their workplace would be very likely or somewhat likely to invest in new technology to help keep their employees and workplace COVID-safe, with 67% indicating that their workplace would be very likely or somewhat likely to invest in facial recognition temperature screening technology specifically to help prevent potential COVID-19 outbreaks.
“While we are lucky to have a smaller risk of COVID outbreaks in Australia at the moment, I believe there is still a high risk to industrial workplaces with parts or products being delivered into your workplace every day from international sites. It’s important to continue to protect your staff especially when you don’t know the safety steps that have been taken in other areas of the supply chain”, said Clint Wolff, Managing Director, Innovative Security and Data.
Nirovision’s CEO, Jimmy Lee, added: “While businesses have been exploring advanced automated technology to increase access control, security and safety of staff and assets, the COVID-19 pandemic escalated this investment as indeed it escalated other forms of digital transformation,” explained
“While the immediate impact of COVID is lessening, industrial businesses are keen to continue to protect their operations as they do not have the option of remote working. It’s essential that we keep Australia open for business not just through this pandemic but against second waves and other potential dangers,” Mr Lee concluded.
Note to editor:
COVID-19 and the Australian Industrial Workplace study was commissioned by Nirovision and independently facilitated by Taverner Research. The Study is based on responses from 201 Australian essential workplaces and was fielded between 25th September – 8 October 2020. Sectors included manufacturing, supermarkets, construction, hospitals, warehouse & logistics facilities, food distribution, aged care, food premises, venues, and mining companies.
Louise Nealon, 0403 569 177, firstname.lastname@example.org
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