Leveraging Technology to Keep Crews Safe During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Adapting to a new normal

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned life as we know it upside down. Around the world, apartments have transformed into home offices, parents have taken on the role of teachers, and securing a grocery delivery time can feel akin to winning the lottery. While most of us here at Camps & Crew fill our days with Zoom calls and Netflix, our clients working in essential industries have jumped into hyperdrive to ensure they meet production goals while prioritizing safety.

In this blog, we’ll cover some of the ways that our clients in the mining and energy industries are leveraging technology as part of their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mining and oil sands workers declared essential in Canada & US during COVID-19 pandemic

On March 24th, the government of Alberta declared oilsands workers essential. (Many regional authorities quickly followed suit, declaring both the mining and energy industries essential across states and provinces in both countries.) For Alberta’s Energy Minister Sonya Savage, the health and safety of fly-in fly-out workers who stay at remote camps and lodges remains top of mind. In her announcement, Ms. Savage made clear that camp operators are working with Canadian Health officials to establish protocols to ensure workers living in communal lodge facilities stay safe and healthy.

After chatting with a few of our clients, it has become eminently clear that companies operating remote housing facilities are now more than ever concerned with keeping crew workers safe. From reducing physical touch points to increasing sanitation efforts to offering packaged meals to-go, we see our clients working hard to adapt and promote the safest workplace environment possible in these unprecedented times. 

We’ve seen a number of camp professionals come up with creative ways to further leverage technology in support of their efforts in this trying time. Below we showcase a few of their tips and tricks.

Customization is key

Whether you’re searching for a property management solution or looking to get the most out of your current camp management software, customization is key. With a few tweaks to standard features, many companies operating remote camps and lodges have been able to adapt their existing camp solution to meet the needs of the moment and keep their crews safe.

A few examples...

Mobile Check-in: Minimizing the number of touch points throughout camp is paramount to keeping a remote work crew safe. Mobile check-in allows crew members to complete their check in from a mobile phone, avoiding high touch activities at a check-in kiosk or front desk.

Onboarding Questionnaire: Many companies require that guests answer questions and agree to policies upon check-in at camp. These questions have in the past been fairly standard, typically asking a crew member to confirm their work schedule and to agree to adhere to their company’s drug and alcohol policies. With a flexible camp management solution, additional questions can easily be added to ask crew members whether they’ve experienced symptoms such as fever and cough. The questionnaire can also require crew workers to sign a document agreeing to mask wearing policies and other social distancing protocols. When these new policies are addressed before a guest is even handed a key, it reinforces that health and safety is a camp’s top priority and that everyone must play their part. 

Capacity Tracking: When a property management system integrates with a camp’s key system, management has the ability to track and limit capacity in any area of the lodge. Limiting the size of gatherings is imperative to preventing an outbreak at camp. By monitoring key swipes, management has the ability to track and/or limit the number of guests in common areas at any given time.

Meal Management: Instead of crew workers grabbing lunch at a bag room or eating dinner at a communal mess hall, camps can integrate their property management system to their point of sale system to facilitate meal delivery to crew workers rooms and prevent employees from congregating in a single area. 

Housekeeping: Maintaining clean quarters has always been top priority, but now sanitation efforts are more pressing than ever. With tight management of housekeeper schedules and expected arrivals, camp personnel can ensure crew members never accidentally walk into a room that has yet to be cleaned. 

Room Blocking & Customizable Statuses: Camp providers are doing everything they can to ensure that no one falls ill and remain hopeful for the best. However, in the event that someone develops symptoms, room blocking and customizable room statuses play a critical role in keep crew workers exhibiting symptoms far from other lodgers. Camp staff are able to use room blocking and customizable statuses to block off entire wings to isolate crew that have fallen ill. 

A common thread among our clients operating remote camps and lodges

While we wouldn’t wish these trying times on anyone, we feel fortunate to be able to help our clients adapt their operations and prioritize safety. It’s no surprise that companies operating remote camps and lodges have quickly risen to the occasion: the very nature of remote projects requires creative thinking to make harsh environments a place to work, rest, and play for work crews.  

If any of the tips or tricks above have piqued your interest, don’t hesitate to reach out to learn more! Take care and remember, we are all in this together.

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