If I were to have told you nine months ago that Restrata, the British Safety and Security company that I’m proud to lead, would be operating as one of the global pioneers in helping bring back live sport for fans in stadia, you would have been justified in displaying a look of surprise, bewilderment even. For it was no longer than that - nine months ago - that this firm was known primarily, if not exclusively, as a safety and security technology firm serving the energy and critical infrastructure sector.
Whilst we have been leading the security technology consultancy and design work for FC Barcelona’s Nou Camp redevelopment and provided the professional and technical consultancy services for the Olympic Park and other venues at London 2012, it would be safe to say that we were better known for digitising safety using the Restrata platform for some of the world’s largest energy companies, in places like southern Iraq or the UK’s North Sea’s harsh offshore environments. These projects - Restrata’s “bread and butter” if you like - were a far cry from the work that we went on to do in the more genteel environment of the Kia Oval this summer for the live return-of-fans trials in Twenty20 Cricket. We have always advocated for digital safety solutions in order to manage people's safety, and so, for us, the Covid-19 global pandemic became another risk us to manage.
It was in March of this year, as Covid-19 was proliferating in much of the world, that we looked at the situation, took stock and reacted. We made a decision that we could either slow down and watch the pandemic unfold and understand how it could adversely impact us, or, instead of being bystanders, we could double down and invest in building on top of the technology we already had to help global sectors such as sport emerge from this pandemic with solutions in hand. We chose the latter, and that’s what has led us to where we are today, eight months on; a situation where we have played our part - whether it be through the England test cricket series, the Twenty20 fan trials or the relocated Indian Premier League (IPL) in the UAE - in getting sport, that most global of sectors, through Covid-19 as best it can.
With the re-emergence of Covid-19 in countries such as the UK, fast-changing Government policies have meant the pause button has been pressed on fans’ return to live sport, for now at least. With our COVID-SAFE Restrata Platform, which has created the biosecure environment stadia, venues, teams and clubs required, and we have proven we have the most comprehensive technological solution on the market for the safe, secure return of fans to live sport – whenever that return happens.
Beyond sports, we have turned our attention to the business and industry sector, which, we can all recognise, has been deeply impacted by the pandemic. The core tenets of Restrata Platform + COVID SAFE technology - namely, social distancing, contact tracing, access restrictions, communications, symptom screening, and creating capacity limits and bio-secure bubbles - remain as relevant for the business sector as they have been for sports.
As it stands today, in early November 2020, COVID has led to the majority of people working from home rather than the workplace. However, not everyone can work from home and so businesses, who, because of COVID, have a heightened duty of care to their staff, need to manage the risks of those who are spending their days in the workplace - to make sure they have the tools in the workplace for workers to stay safe - whether they be an office, site, factory or another facility. Businesses are in the unenviable position of having to manage the delicate balance between staff safety, minimizing the risk of the virus spreading to other staff and local communities, not to mention lost revenue.
However, it is clear that no matter how swiftly we defeat this pandemic, physical distancing and management measures coupled with inherent people safety features that our platform was built on, are not only needed by businesses today but are likely to be required well into the future. That is why our Restrata Platform + COVID-SAFE modules, which we believe is the most comprehensive solution on the market, is the right option for businesses looking to win this fight against Covid-19 – it will change workers’ lives and introduce key benefits to operating from the workplace, not least the ability for employers to manage COVID cases with confidence knowing who has been in contact with who, and the ability to understand social distancing behaviours in the workplace, too.
Whether it be full-time office staff, on-site contractors in a factory, visitors, or potential clients; all workplaces will need to consider a bio-secure workplace that combines contact track and trace technology with social distancing measures, and the best technological communications with capacity limits. Our data-driven platform, which combines Real-Time Location Technologies (that manages the movement of people), has proven successful for live sport and it is proving successful for the workplace, too as we continue to deploy the technology for companies around the world.
How companies manage Covid-19 with their business, and their financial position, intact, will be determined by how they confront this pandemic. Businesses need to manage Covid-19 with safety and security concerns at the forefront, and that’s why we want to help the sector get back on its feet.
The biggest ally we have in this fight [against Covid-19] - apart from the frontline workers and medical professionals - is technology. That is something that must be embraced to fight the pandemic today and keep people safe well beyond COVID. We are immensely proud to play a small part in helping businesses continue to produce and innovate safely.