Zapoj CEM Makes “Adherence to Assembly Bill 685” Easier for Employers

With global offices returning back to work, the approach to dealing with workplace safety in response to the COVID-19 pandemic is changing its course now. New regulatory compliances are setting in, while the norms differ from state to state. The California Government has added a new layer of safety protocols with changes in Assembly Bill 685 to be followed by employers with an immediate effect.

Assembly Bill 685 or AB 685 is set to enhance California’s Occupational Safety and Health Act (Cal/OSHA) existing COVID-19 emergency and safety standards. It is a temporary standard that remains effective until 2023.


Emergency, Temporary Cal/OSHA Standard

As per Cal/OSHA legal obligations, all employers must notify their staff and local health units of the workplace transmission of COVID-19 infections. The incident of potential workplace exposure to the disease must be brought to the notice of concerned persons within one business day.

AB 685 is bolstering its regulations to ensure employee safety and wellness from the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers must adhere to the compliance requirements of the bill and failing to do so may result in hefty civil penalties.

It is about making necessary changes to what businesses already had to combat the COVID-19 outbreak in the workplace, which means new investment in tools and manpower that can possibly help reduce any risk of Cal/OSHA violations. The expenses in round-the-clock vigilance may bring a financial burden to small-scale businesses.


Amid so much uncertainty, the question is how you can achieve compliance then? Zapoj CEM brings to you an efficient way of adhering to the AB 685 legal obligations without having to worry about business resiliency. With Zapoj being vigilant at every step of the COVID-19 transmission, it is easy and quick to respond to your employees and public health officials.


Keep up with AB 685

AB 685 has several additional legal obligations which employers need to follow. Zapoj is a powerful critical event management tool with built-in capabilities that seamlessly adjusts to immediate requirements in restricting workplace transmission and the risk of getting shut down.


Notifying everyone who matters for business resilience

Within your workplace premises, chances are that one of your employees is COVID-19 positive is quite high. During a certain time period, any of your employees who have come into contact with the infectious person must know that fact they may have high risks of contracting COVID-19.

AB 685 states that as an employer, you must provide a written notice to your employees and even the employers of subcontractors who were present in the worksite with the exposed person.

This written notice can come in different forms- emails, text messages, social media messages, and more.

Using Zapoj, you can achieve the flexibility of rapid notification delivery within a specified time. Zapoj has a critical alerting system alongside powerful mass notifications. The real-time notification can escalate immediately when the contact management receives the alerts.

The contact management keeps each of your employee’s data up to date with accurate information about mobile numbers, residence addresses, and locations. The best advantage of Zapoj is that you can flexibly use pre-built notifications and send them in real-time so as to ensure your employees never miss critical information. Alongside, the mass notifications as sent via multi-channels enable you to reach the right person at the right time on devices they use. Emergency notifications can reach your employees through email, text, voice call, push notifications, and pages, and that is significant in adjusting to the notification norms of AB 685. So eventually, you will be satisfied with the capability of Zapoj that gives you global coverage with ease. As a result, you can trace a number of people exposed to potential COVID-19 hazards depending on the response you receive through two-way communication, which also makes building an isolation program easier.


Preventing the risks of a shutdown

AB 685 enforces a law where employers must notify local public health agencies of the COVID-19 transmission at the workplace where employees have tested positive with laboratory-confirmed cases for two long weeks.

Similarly, Cal/OSHA preserves the rights of issuing an Order Prohibiting Use (OPU) forcing employers to shut down their operations if they are found to violate safety measures and put their employees at the imminent hazard of COVID-19 infection. The law emphasizes moving employees to the safest place until the place is free of danger or harm of COVID-19 infections.

To take control of the infected routes so no one can meddle with them again and avoid person-to-person and place-to-place contacts, a deep analytics-based risk intelligence can enable data collection, provide visibility into potential future risks of COVID-19, and help implement robust measures to reduce any damage like business disruption.

Zapoj uses location awareness and risk intelligence. Using these two innovative technologies, we can get insights into workplace contact tracing at scale. Zapoj gives us the ability to perform location analytics in close relationships with data we usually collect from the infected locations or routes and determine the accuracy of origin of infection in the workplace premises. This visual awareness speeds up the process of identifying contacts of employees, alerting them of the potential risks and thereby encouraging them to follow social distancing or quarantine norms.

In addition to location awareness, organizations or employers can take immediate actions to employ disinfecting or cleaning measures at the infected locations around the worksite.

With Zapoj offering 360 degrees of view in workplace risks related to COVID-19, you can make data-driven decisions, avoid any major risks that can expose your employees to health risks, and keep up with business continuity. At the same time, adherence to AB 685 is highly maintained at all levels.


Maintaining productivity and customer satisfaction

So to maintain the legal obligations of AB 685, if you have any employee contracted with COVID-19 infection, employee wellness is a high priority that requires you to notify your employees and all those who have come in contact with the COVID-19 positive person to go for isolation and under medical checks.

With half the workforce, your predefined business objectives can take a hit. You need double the productivity and efficiency to achieve your goals that cannot impede user experience and incur business losses. Employee scheduling needs to be built up from the ground up, which may take up time and cost you your business.

Zapoj alleviates your pain of building a staff scheduling. With built-in shift calendars, Zapoj can optimize your staffing needs in real-time. Take advantage of on-call staffing notifications to collaborate with your employees as needs may arise at your organization. Calendar views give you a broader picture of how your employees are scheduled for the day, week, or months. During any emergency, you can escalate critical notifications for on-call teams via SMS, push notifications, and email and get your employees who are available to take charge.

During COVID-19 situations, Zapoj staff scheduling can be beneficial in handling unexpected workloads stemming from an absence of concerned employees while giving your business resilience and agility.

Amidst the concern of employers so as to how to adhere to AB 685 legal requirements, Zapoj CEM equips you with all necessary tools important to maintain employee safety and wellness, business continuity, and take responsibility for stopping COVID-19 from spreading at your workplace. In the day’s end, Zapoj strives to foster the economy, boost productivity, and help create a safe place for employees.


Enhancing Employee Outreach in the Time of COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 vaccines are out now, raising hopes for organizations to return to work safely to the traditional workplace from the phase of WFH normals. However, until vaccines help develop herd immunity or deliver 100% efficacy, employee wellbeing and safety is the major concern for every business leader.

Amidst this situation, employers are looking to optimize hybrid working practices- where physical presence at work and remote work will blend together to yield employee efficiency, productivity, and create value for every stakeholder.

For employers and HR directors, this new work model is nothing less than a challenge because health-vulnerable employees cannot enter the physical workplace, instead, they continue working from home. The other way around, field workers or frontline workers also need protection from their employers. Since all norms remain unchanged to help eliminate the transmission of the disease, organizations must comply with new regulations to strengthen employee safety as well as wellness.

Organizations need to bring the best practices that provide situational awareness with the ability to locate and communicate with their employees whenever they are exposed to vulnerabilities.


Leveraging risk intelligence and contact tracing

Creating a unified emergency response helps bring your employees to the same platform and tackle unforeseeable emergencies in an efficient manner. Zapoj Critical Event Management or CEM empowers organizations and employees to adjust to the safe return to the office by leveraging the power of risk intelligence and contact tracing.

With contextualized data at your fingertips, it is easier to detect potential threats in real-time, thus escaping the impact well in advance.

Risk intelligence can better work in conjunction with location intelligence or geographic information systems to enhance data collection, visualization, and better understanding. Pulling together all data, Zapoj Command Center provides situational awareness through a comprehensive dashboard where business leaders can identify data associated with employees, assets, and facilities.

Situational awareness also identifies which of the employees are present in the facility at a specific time along with details of their locations. Also, employees provide data to Zapoj Command Center about when they will be available in the facility. Accurate data mapping leads to organizations or HR recruiters make informed decisions – who to continue work at office premises or continue from home. The comprehensive data also helps manage social distancing norms at the office.

Depending on the location analytics, Zapoj CEM makes capturing location data easier and efficient for your organization and enables flexibility with government regulations. As a result, any organization can intensify end-to-end contact tracing and establish a comprehensive employee wellness program to proceed with operations without any disruptions.

  • Conduct wellness checks for employees on a regular basis
  • Conduct surveys to verify COVID-19 vaccinations and health status, and also employee needs
  • Know employee readiness to return to work
  • Enhance efficiency by providing access to employee data repository asset

Enhancing employee reach out

Zapoj CEM leverages geofence-based notifications and alerts. So, organizations can set up zones to identify location-specific risks and boost recovery. When the system detects a specific event related to COVID-19 using its situational awareness capabilities, it alerts an operator. Built-in flexible workflows can escalate rapidly when pre-defined requirements are not met and warn employees of potential threats. Notification and alerts reach the right employee at the right to keep them safe and keep them ready to tackle any health emergency. Employees can be notified for

Zapoj CEM is designed to adjust to the current situation at organizations where employees can feel safe. With end-to-end contact tracing and risk intelligence, business leaders can communicate critical information in time should there be any COVID-19 infections, and help them avoid getting infected or spread any transmission. The goal is to keep up with the business continuity while also helping your staff stay safe and healthy.

Zapoj CEM helps you reimagine your current work conditions and maintain compliance with the regulations promoting employee safety and wellbeing. The key is enhancing employee outreach in times of pandemic so that organizations can limit the transmission, restrict employees from getting infected and take appropriate steps to keep up with business operations.


Zapoj Empowers Businesses to Implement Infectious Disease Tracking

Today’s business needs to be resilient at all levels all while ensuring disease is far beyond the reach of your employees and people to give them a safer experience. Infectious disease tracking is key to staying ahead of infectious disease risks, preventing your employees from being exposed to infection, restricting transmission, ensuring employee wellness, and boosting their readiness to join offices. Zapoj CEM platform is a powerful end-to-end infectious disease tracking or contact tracing software helping business boost their confidence to facilitate the return to work as seamlessly as possible.


Zapoj CEM platform keeps businesses ahead of the COVID-19 vulnerabilities

Zapoj critical event management software harnesses the power of Artificial Intelligence to deep understand the source of the infection so businesses can hurriedly get insights into where is the risks generating from, how’s the impact going to be, and finally it simplifies decision making.

Leveraging this critical event management tool, it will be 10x easier to identify risk patterns related to COVID-19 in real-time which means you can take immediate action that restricts the spread of the disease and keep with government compliance.


How it works?

Zapoj CEM is more capable than Bluetooth-enabled contact tracing mobile apps.

The data accuracy is not always at par standard with what governments or organizations actually need to handle disease efficiently using Bluetooth contact tracing apps. To pull information from people being in the proximity of infectious persons or personally infected, apps must require people to give consent to use it. Owing to this fact, privacy becomes a concern for these people, limiting the collection of adequate information.

Harnessing the CEM capabilities of Zapoj; businesses and individuals can get better versions of infectious disease tracking flexibility.

COVID-19 tracking means you have risk intelligence in place to help your business keep track of contact events that may cause infection. Based on the fact of this information, businesses can immediately notify the person who has been in contact with the infected person. On a broader scale, organizations can identify potential threats to their employees, notify them to be extra cautious, suggest tests, and respond accordingly to ensure their wellness.

Without having to violate employee privacy, Zapoj gives every organization an opportunity to use location intelligence or awareness of their employees to accelerate the process of infection disease tracking.


Comprehensive location-tracking with Zapoj

Zapoj flexibly adapts to your organization’s contact management system which you’ve built for different purposes. On the other hand, if you don’t have such contact management, Zapoj CEM allows you to create a contact database that works in tandem with your organization’s compliance policy.

Location-based infectious disease tracking becomes much easier with available data such as GPS signals, addresses, contact numbers, Wi-Fi location. Zapoj dashboard provides situational awareness into identifying the person through an in-depth route mapping where the COVID-19 positive person may have moved about and uncovers other contacts with potential threats. With all tracked contacts being identified and notified, you can easily strategize isolation, wellness programs, and restrict the infection from spreading.

An advantage with Zapoj CEM is that it has built-in mass notifications and emergency alerting systems. So, not every end-user has to download it. With an accurate COVID-19 infection update in your hand, you can automate notifications or alerts right through the Zapoj dashboard which reaches the right person at the right time via a multimodal delivery path. It can be social media alerts, texts, emails, voice calls – so anything that your employees use which ensures every critical message works effectively with real-time feedback.

Geofencing and location tracking – these two intelligent tools embedded in Zapoj gives efficiency in density management in shared paces like conference rooms, cafeteria, and other places. This is a way forward to keeping you ahead of all potential threats, making risk assessment easier. It also ensures you embrace the return to work rapidly and provide a safe place for your employees to mobilize your operations.

White papers Workspaces

Your workforce through a fully integrated communication platform

During public safety threats such as Covid-19 or severe weather conditions, as well as critical business events like Equipment failure , IT outages or Cyberattacks – ZSuite improves organizations resiliency to such events by intelligently activating response teams based on their context and location awareness over any of the communications channels like sms, email or voice call. Establishes further a communication and collaboration on workspace among all involved parties to bring impacted operations back to normal or implement business continuity with minimum disruptions.


101 of Critical Event Management and Why Your Organization Needs It

Critical event management for business resilience

What Is Critical Event Management (CEM)

Critical Event Management is a software platform, which ensures organizations rapidly respond to business disruptions or even avoid – sudden and unexpected disruptions. An end-to-end CEM solution provides real-time information about global risk events and threats, alerts you when any of the organization’s assets (People, facilities, supply chain, IT) are exposed to threats. It further enables organizations in automating the response to reduce the mean time between failure, optimize crisis communications, and provide a common operating picture to all key stakeholders- Executives, CIO, CEOs, Managers, HRs, Business Continuity, Crisis Management  and Security teams. CEM software improves business resilience for organizations to accomplish the mission.


What are the essential components of CEM software?

5 important Critical Event Management Components are

Who should use Critical Event Management?

A CEM platform is ideal for any organization, big or small, that is looking to converge operation management activities like security planning and management, business continuity and disaster recovery, IT operations and service delivery management, Crisis communications across the entire organization to create an integrated, cross-functional, all-hazards response. Examples include small and medium-sized businesses, large enterprise organizations, healthcare facilities, schools, hospitals and government agencies.


Under what circumstances a business can use CEM software?

A critical event management software is a key component of business continuity planning and execution, crisis management  and communications. It brings together the best of your critical communications and crisis management resources to ensure your organization is prepared for any of the risk events given below:

  • Natural disasters and weather-related incidents, such as floods, wildfires and snowstorms
  • IT incidents such as infrastructure issues, database down or application slow response.
  • Denial of access incidents, such as fires or chemical spills or Riots
  • Power outages or Facility disruptions
  • Cyber attacks and data breaches
  • Critical equipment or infrastructure failure
  • Pandemics such as COVID-19 and the influenza virus
  • Active shooter incidents
  • Supply chain disruptions
  • And much more


How CEM improves Organizational Resilience

Business Resillience

Let’s define what Organizational Resilience means before we understand how CEM improves it.  Organization Resiliency: The ability of a firm to deliver on its brand promise, no matter what the disruption is and how bad it is.

Modern-day customers expect your business to be available round the clock. To meet customer demands, today’s business must strive for resiliency.


CEM platform brings together

  • Risk intelligence that proactively assesses potential threats before they become critical events.
  • Common operating pictures of Assets (People, facilities, supply chain, IT services, etc), risk events, and crisis management tasks.
  • Automated workflows to implement business continuity standard operating procedures
  • Communication tools such as Chat, Video Conferences for Teams, and one-to-one voice calls or SMS to enable rapid collaboration for response teams.
  • Analytics that provides Mean Time to identify a Critical Event, Mean Time to Respond by Teams, and Mean Time to Resolve it.

An effective Critical Event Management software is an integrated, end-to-end process that enables organizations to significantly speed up responses to critical events and improve outcomes by mitigating or eliminating the impact of a threat, thereby improving the operations business resilience.


Importance of Critical Event Management to Business

Building organizational resilience

In 2020, business operational resilience is the utmost important aspect of worldwide business, be it small or global enterprises and no matter what part of the world they operate from. Defined as the emergent property of an organization exhibited when it continues to carry out its mission after disruption, that does not push it beyond its operational limit. Never in modern history, organizations have taken serious thought and investment in making their business operations resilient to disruptions. The organization meets its overall mission only when every individual high-value service in the organization meets its mission. Each service constitutes people, information, technology, and facilities – a critical event can disrupt any one of them impacting the service and eventually overall organization mission.

A Critical Event can be anything that causes a business disruption, from operational disruptions like IT outages and supply chain disruptions to catastrophic man-made events like active shooters or natural events like earthquakes or severe weather or Pandemic like Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19). In fact, these events have been on the rise for the last 10 years, on any given day some part of the world has always had some critical event impacting Business in that area. With a deeply interconnected Global Economy, the impact of Business on one side of the world can cause business disruptions all across the world, even if they were not directly exposed to Critical Events. The cost of inaction or poor preparation remains steep, results in lost productivity, eroded corporate reputation, instability in supply chain management, and lowered revenue.

In highly complex worldwide risk events, reliance on humans to collect data, connect modules, interpret threat data is impossible to manually visualize, track and process all information affecting your organization. Without technology, you cannot be proactive in mitigating the risks and impacts;  at best one would just react. Unfortunately, many organizations still rely on manual processes of collecting data, trying to implement business continuity based on a very narrowed understanding. This is where Critical Event Management (CEM) comes in handy in helping various roles in an organization such as security, operations, risk management, crisis management, and IT professionals to be proactive than reactive during critical events.

This guide will help you better understand, How CEM Works, How it helps business, How to initiate the CEM strategy, and finally how to quantify business resilience.


How CEM Works

Critical Event management addresses both the strategic side of business resilience which starts with identifying business risks, business continuity planning, forming crisis management teams, and the tactical part of implementing business continuity, which starts with situation awareness of global risk events, assess which assets get impacted, launches response teams to implement business continuity plans, crisis communications, response team collaborations, and post-mortem analytics. Zapoj Critical Event Management product- Zsuite is an AI-powered comprehensive end-to-end critical event management platform that enables organizations to predict, act, orchestrate, communicate and collaborate during any critical disruptions to business operations.


Following are the 5 pillars of Critical Event Management

  • Risk Intelligence Risk intelligence provides thousands of data feeds across weather, protests, social media, dark web, and hyper-local safety feeds to curate, filter, and categorizes risk events. Data is visually organized to easily understand risk event location, type of risk, data source, and severity so that security teams can take a faster response to threats in order to avoid false positives and make better decisions.
  • Correlation of assets and threats CEM software aligns risk events to assets using a dynamic correlation engine that combines static location, expected location, and last known location of people and assets. CEM can take this a step further by considering time elements to determine who or what is impacted by threats, in order to reach them faster and more decisively.
  • Orchestration of business continuity plans and incident management Automated workflows ensure that even when you or your team is not watching for threats, the system is going to do for you. SOPs, communications, and action plans can be automated and orchestrated during a crisis in order to speed up response and ensure that the appropriate action is taken for a particular threat.
  • Unified communications and collaboration The unified communications component of the critical event management system allows front-line workers to collaborate and communicate via chat rooms, web conference war rooms, securely share relevant documents and update task status.
  • Data-driven analytics With CEM, metrics are built-in throughout the process to ensure the right action is taken by the right people, at the right time, and to understand how effective actions implemented were and how you can do better in the future.

How CEM Adds Value to your Organization

  • Reduce losses from business interruption.
  • Lowered costs from IT downtime.
  • Decreased losses from property damage.
  • Averted costs of lost employee productivity.
  • Global risk events situation awareness and their impact on business operations.
  • Increased security team productivity through freed up time for higher-value tasks


How to Initiate the CEM in your organization

  • Leadership Initiative Build alliances across the chief security officer (CSO), chief information security officer (CISO), and chief information officer (CIO) at the very least. Combining the experience, insights, and intelligence from across the organization makes it possible to quickly understand the root cause of an event and ensures a rapid response and operational continuity.
  • Identify key assets and risk areas During every event, a resilient organization will know where employees, travelers, visitors, offices, manufacturing facilities, and other critical assets are located. It’s also critical to know how they are interconnected and the dependencies between them. Beyond knowing the location and interdependencies, organizations also need an idea of how much it will cost if these assets are impacted by an event. For instance, perhaps a critical business application goes down resulting in thousands of dollars in losses every minute. It’s important to calculate losses based on the overall use case, such as how many employees are going to be impacted.
  • Risk Intelligence data sources It’s time to pull all of your risk information together into one place to streamline your threat assessment process. Align sources, information, and evaluate the risks and the impact to your organization across five key asset types: People, Buildings, IT Systems, Supply Chain, and Brand/Reputation. Your data sources should be vetted and verified, involving geo-targeted intelligence related to weather, terrorism, and other potential disruptions. Verified sources and analysis eliminate the noise and enable you to generate the most impactful information while eliminating false positives.
  • Communication and Training The primary goal of business continuity planning is to efficiently restore operations through predetermined, systematic processes and procedures. However, in order to minimize the impacts and rapidly respond to operational hindrances, companies must ensure business continuity communication methods and procedures are clearly defined and functional. Communication planning is an intricate part of preparedness and any continuity process. Clear and effective communication channels must remain available in order to disseminate information to employees, assess and relay damage, and coordinate a recovery strategy.


How to quantity CEM outcomes

If you can’t measure something you can’t improve it, this is applicable to business resilience also. Since CEM is all about improving the business resilience of organizations, the capability maturity model in place quantifies where organizations stand now, identifies gaps, assesses what needs to be done to improve it, provides a timeline for improvements, and tracks the progress with data-driven metrics. CEM-CMM positions operational resilience in a process improvement view. Let’s talk about CEM capability maturity model stages


  1. Adhoc Stage:  As part of organizational Security –  Business continuity , Crisis Management and IT ops are silo managed with individual tools and processes. No CEM software is used to implement, all tasks are manual and paper based, teams have limited knowledge of important assets for successful business operations. At this stage any business operations disruption response is slow , uncoordinated ,unstructured, eventually leading to revenue loss and brand value at stake.
  2. Reactive stage: At reactive stage organizations would have started using basic CEM technologies like emergency notifications, aligned with all teams responsible to implement Business continuity and crisis management under CEM practice. Assets (People, Facilities, supply chain , IT infra and services and Information) needed for business services to meet their goals are defined as well . But identification of risks and correlation of assets is still a manual human task. Technology is used only to alert response teams and the implementation scope is still at the departmental level.
  3.  Managed stage: At this stage organizations have taken CEM seriously, more and more business units started implementing CEM strategies. Most importantly end to end CEM software is used to replace manual operations with automated risk identifying but the limited correlation with assets, alerts are multi-channeled with escalations and audits at every stage.
  4.  Proactive stage: At this stage organizations are matured with CEM and implemented best practices for all business services. All identified risk operations are automatically correlated with assets and alerts are sent based on staff schedules. Mobile devices are used to send alerts based on context and location awareness.
  5. Optimized Stage: At this stage organizations should have implemented CEM across organization wide with dynamic altering , automation with orchestration , data driven analytics to understand gaps and continuous improvement.