On a recent ProcessMAP EHS Leadership Roundtable, we heard from Serge Everdepoel, Global Senior EHS Manager/EHSIS Lead for Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI), the global leader for smart and sustainable buildings, who shared his perspective on how their European countries are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and ways that JCI has used the ProcessMAP system to manage their response globally. Johnson Controls offers customers a portfolio of building technology solutions that transform the environments where people live, work, learn and play. From optimizing building performance to improving safety and enhancing comfort, JCI supports customers in industries such as healthcare, education, data centers and manufacturing with a global team of 105,000 experts in more than 150 countries.
Based in Brussels, Belgium, Serge provided us with a high level overview of the COVID-19 pandemic from a European perspective. Serge and his team began working from home in mid-March, and nearly all of his colleagues who are office-based continue to do so today.
From a return-to-work standpoint, JCI has classified their employees into three categories:
- Category 1 - those employees who are unable to do all of their job when they are not in an office. There can be a certain device these employees need,or a certain software that only runs within a JCI facility that cannot be accessed from a remote VPN connection. At the present time, JCI’s U.S. headquarters office in Milwaukee is at 10% of their occupancy level.
- Category 2 - people that can essentially work from home but from time to time need to visit the office to perform certain tasks. These employees may return to their offices by the end of this calendar year.
- Category 3 - these are employees who can work from home 100% of the time.
At the height of the pandemic in April, Europe’s response included such measures as stopping trans-border travel, closing shops, bars and restaurants, requiring face coverings, issuing mandatory stay inside orders, school closures and stopping outdoor sports.
In May and June, certain lockdown measures were gradually relaxed, and while some countries moved faster than others, all countries were relaxing in some way. This was in part because of the pressure on the economy that lockdown created, eliminating many jobs and the health of the economy in each country. In July and August, daily new case counts began to rise again, as the second wave of COVID-19 started in Europe
As of late August, the European CDC continues to report a number of hot spots in Europe. JCI is carefully monitoring the data for those countries where COVID-19 case counts are increasing and those that are decreasing.
Managing COVID-19 with Support from ProcessMAP
JCI uses a suite of ProcessMAP modules to help manage their response to the pandemic. Since becoming a ProcessMAP customer in 2014, JCI has incorporated Activity Management, Audit Management, Event Management, Performance Management, Incident and Claims Management, Risk Assessment, Waste Management, Permit Management, Blood Lead Monitoring, Industrial Hygiene, Water and Energy Management, Reviqo ready-to-use mobile apps, Behavior Based Safety and LMS. The safety team continues to adjust their use of the ProcessMAP platform and effectively uses the data it provides. The modules are closely integrated with Human Resources and other systems, and the team regularly uses advanced data analytics and visualization tools such as Insight to create incisive reports, build executive dashboards, run statistics and identify underlying trends.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused JCI to quickly rethink how to manage data related to this new situation. Their solution was digitization, standardization, and as far as possible, automation. Some of the early decisions included use of Microsoft Excel, MS Teams and MS Forms that were quickly put together believing that we could manage it. The safety team saw data reporting gaps from the beginning. There were IT security issues around data collection because the team was collecting personal data around people getting ill without the benefit of data privacy around those forms spreadsheets.
The EHS team took control of the situation and explained that they already had a tool in-house that with a little tweaking, could do all the things they needed, and with more exposure, they anticipated a great boost in adoption by using their EHS platform.
The result has been all positive. The team expanded the scope of their system to include non-work-related illnesses. They are increasing user counts, exposing their leadership team, operations, management and supervisors to the platform now in a way that they were not using it before. They also see a lot more adoption of the modules than they had before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Using ProcessMAP’s Incident Management solution, JCI’s safety team enables EHS stakeholders to create COVID-19 cases when they learn about it and update that same case and move it from hospitalized to recovered as the colleagues recover. The team translated this reporting strategy into 15 languages to use it globally. They created the training material, conducted training webinars, and then created Insight reports so that the organization can access those statistics now as well. That deployment really took minimal effort to make the switch.
As JCI confirmed COVID-19 cases across the globe, they were able to track employees who have recovered and returned to work. They could track the data at a country or facility level, and share these details at least weekly if not daily.
The JCI team runs this report three times per week. They evaluate data by business unit, and by where sites are in their journey to be approved for operating under the new normal. They are also able to create pie charts breaking data down by business unit or by audit stage.
Using ProcessMAP’s App Builder, JCI created an easy, simple form to screen and track employees entering their work locations each day. They captured data including temperature screening in the AppBuilder module on a daily basis, and then loaded it into Insight to automate reporting. The safety team saw usage increase as sites began to re-open or continue to operate that they picked up the temperature screening requirement and they are reporting on a daily basis.
Daily IR Screening
JCI is able to view numbers by country based on the data they collect, and can also see the number of people who were denied facility access due to elevated temperatures. As the weeks have passed, JCI has seen a drastic drop in the number of employees who were denied access to facilities. This means that people are either not getting sick anymore or they are realizing that if they are ill they must not come to work . That is a mentality change that is 100% crucial for COVID-19. In fact, JCI is promoting this idea for employees pertaining to any kind of disease. If employees are ill, they must not come to work. Those employees who are able to work remotely should work from home, and if not, they should focus on their health and recovering from any illness.
COVID-19 continues to remain a relevant topic more than seven months since the start of the pandemic. Several countries continue to see hotspots and localized surges, if not full-fledged second and third wave of cases. In this constantly evolving and changing health and safety landscape, leading organizations like JCI are demonstrating the value of leveraging digital technologies to keep their employees safe around the world and minimize the impact of the pandemic on their global operations. To learn more about how ProcessMAP can help you digitally transform your EHS processes and mitigate occupational safety hazards, sign up for a free trial today!
Reference websites and links:
- Politico - https://www.politico.eu/coronavirus-in-europe/
- European CDC - https://www.ecdc.europa..eu/en/covid-19-pandemic
- Germany - https://www.rki.de/EN/Home/homepage_node.html
- Belgium - https://www.sciensano.be/en/health-topics/coronavirus
- France - https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus
- UK - https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus