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Essential Worker Communications Equipment Guide


Your communications technology must keep essential workers safe and connected, even in a global pandemic.

Workplaces and workflows have changed dramatically. Every day, essential workers worldwide are risking COVID‑19 infection to ensure emergency services are available, waste is collected, public transport still operates, and critical businesses and organizations remain open.

Now more than ever, the ability to use safe, secure communications equipment is critical. Fortunately, telecommunications innovators like Motorola Solutions have adapted quickly, offering essential worker technology that enables continued, safe operations in a variety of settings, including:

  • Government
  • Manufacturing
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Transit
  • IT
  • Public Safety
  • and more

What Is an Essential Worker?

According to the U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, essential workers are those who deploy a broad range of services and operations that are critical to daily life and local, regional, and national infrastructure. From doctors and nurses to farmers and manufacturers, essential workers are the web of staff and industries that keep society moving forward even during a crisis.



FREE DOWNLOAD: Essential Worker Communications Equipment Guide

Common Safety Measures for Essential Workers

Whether your staff can work remotely or must wear masks and social distance, there are essential worker technology solutions to help them get the job done safely and efficiently. 

In particular, communications technology can help your business or organization comply with the following measures:

  • Limited on‑site work. Many employees who switched to remote work arrangements in the spring of 2020 continue working from home. Their productivity and efficiency depend on reliable IT solutions connections to other departments.
  • Restricted travel. As your employees avoid travel, they are increasingly required to attend virtual conferences, boost telecommunication capacity, and earn continuing education credits online instead of face‑to‑face.
  • Lack of face‑to‑face meetings. With today's immediate communication technology, there’s no need for employees to have large in‑person conferences or gatherings. 
  • Extra cleaning and screening measures. Unfortunately, with on‑site staffing shortages, extra cleaning measures often fall to the essential workers — even if sanitation is far outside their job descriptions. Custodial staff and administrators are doing everything from sanitizing workstations to cleaning two‑way radios before the next shift arrives. 
  • Mask wearing. Face coverings are the most common form of personal protective gear. While effective in reducing the spread of COVID‑19, face masks can make it difficult to communicate while social distancing




Ensuring Safety & Success: Essential Worker Technology

During a health crisis, a change in the public’s behavior when interacting with workers can increase the level of risk to those on the frontline. With reports of interference, aggression, and even violence against essential workers increasing, and the all‑too‑real risk of contamination through human contact ever‑present, employers have a duty of care for their employees, ensuring the safety of those critical workers who are keeping communities functioning.

Here are some of the most commonly used types of essential worker technology and communications equipment, based on your industry.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges that government essential workers’ compliance with safety guidelines is critical to community infrastructure. It follows up with five recommended safety practices for these essential workers during the COVID‑19 pandemic:

  • Pre‑screenings (aka, temperature checks) before work each day
  • Regular symptom monitoring 
  • Mask wearing
  • Social distancing 
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of workspaces

These safety precautions take additional time and energy from the essential tasks of these government workers. Fortunately, there are technology solutions to streamline safety and efficiency.

Government Essential Worker Solutions

  • AI‑enabled video solutions. From thermal‑sensing cameras to face mask detection applications, artificial intelligence offers cutting‑edge solutions to ensuring COVID‑19 safety compliance.
  • Appearance search technology. Contact tracing in government agencies is critical to slowing the spread of COVID‑19. Motorola Solutions’ Appearance Search technology can help organizations stop the spread of the virus by identifying who and what infected individuals came into contact with during a specific time. 
  • Team communications. Ensure you’re always connected with your team, no matter where the job may take you. The WAVE™ Push‑to‑Talk Mobile App is a subscription‑based communication service that can instantly connect teams across different devices, networks, and locations.





In manufacturing, communication is both a lifeline that ensures safety and a tool for greater efficiency and productivity. Manufacturing operations have unique needs when it comes to safety and security. They often handle hazardous materials and heavy machinery. The mandate to social distance during the COVID‑19 pandemic has further highlighted the need for safe, effective communication for your workers on the line.

According to Motorola’s 2019 Manufacturing Communications Report, 81% of manufacturing workers use more than one device to communicate on the job, and 91% say it would be valuable if they could communicate using any device. 

Manufacturing Essential Worker Solutions

  • Team communications. Powered by Motorola’s WAVE™ Push‑to‑Talk Application (PTT), Unified Team Communications allows plant managers, supervisors, and other employees with smartphones to stay connected to the radio system without using multiple devices. Integrating personal devices means no cross‑contamination of equipment, speedy connections, and reliability even in dead zones.
  • Advanced video surveillance solutions. When you’re working with a skeleton crew, supervisors don’t have the time or capacity to supervise every room in the facility. Ensure worker safety, COVID‑19 safety measure compliance, and incident reporting with Avigilon’s™ end‑to‑end video solutions. Built‑in intelligence scans video footage for you, freeing your time to focus on what matters: production and safety at the moment.





Schools are meant to be places for teaching and learning, places where the next generation can grow and evolve into tomorrow's leaders. But these lofty goals are only achievable when there’s a strong foundation of safety and security.

Now more than ever, teachers and administrators are stretched thin. These essential workers are challenged with quickly evolving safety procedures, remote learning, and extra cleaning measures. 

Fortunately, there are ways to create an integrated and seamless communications infrastructure to enhance school safety, support district‑wide communications for daily operations, and enable more productive learning — even when accomplished remotely.

Education Essential Worker Technology

  • Social distancing face mask technology. Integrating AI‑enabled face mask detection intelligence into your video surveillance is a natural step toward ensuring that teachers, students, and support staff are doing their best to prevent the spread of COVID‑19. 
  • Thermal temperature sensing cameras. School nurses can’t keep up with temperature checks in a junior high or high school building full of hundreds of students. That’s where the Avigilon™ H4 Thermal Elevated Temperature Detection camera steps in. It offers analytics that measure heat and notify operators when someone has an elevated skin temperature.
  • Private LTE. Remote learning has put a strain on teachers and students alike. With easy installation of private LTE, teachers can enjoy fast connections from their own homes — and administrators can maintain complete ownership over the network security.





Healthcare workers have never been more essential — or more overwhelmed. A flood of new patients makes facility oversight a challenge. Securing the premises to allow only patients and essential workers takes time and energy away from critical care. 

Even before the COVID‑19 pandemic, healthcare system administrators recognized the need for more layered security and more connected team communications. Consider this:

  • According to OSHA, 75% of workplace assaults occur in healthcare settings.
  • According to Campus Safety, 67% of hospitals planned to invest in video surveillance solutions in 2018.
  • Now, during the current COVID‑19 pandemic, verbal and physical abuse toward frontline workers has worsened. It has been documented from Missouri and Massachusetts to the United Kingdom.

It’s time to reimagine what hospital safety technology can do. Motorola Solutions’ Safe Hospitals integrated technology ecosystem unifies mission‑critical technologies to improve healthcare worker safety across the facility while improving day‑to‑day patient outcomes. 

Healthcare Essential Worker Technology

  • Two‑way radios. Given the widespread and growing use of radios, safety features have been developed that address the unique needs of almost every user and situation. In current healthcare settings, these essential safety features could be the difference between life and death:
    • Push‑To‑Talk (PTT). Instant communication with medical backup is the touch of a button away. In situations where social distancing is key and seconds count, instantaneous communication through walls and across crowded waiting rooms is lifesaving.
    • Emergency call features. With the Emergency Alert feature, staff members can hit the panic button to send a distress call to other radios within a certain range. Once the button is pushed, the radio goes into hands‑free mode for several seconds so the user can describe the emergency while attending to the situation at hand.
    • Team communications. In the emergency room, there’s no time for juggling devices. WAVE™ keeps your teams connected with instant communications across any network or device. From the receptionist’s two‑way radio to the nurse’s cell phone, everyone can communicate loud and clear.
  • AI‑enabled video management. From face mask detection and thermal technology to watchlist alerting and unusual motion detection, Avigilon™ trusted security solutions act as healthcare administrators’ eyes and ears so that they can focus on saving lives.
  • Essential worker‑to‑police response solutions. CommandCentral Aware Enterprise provides critical insights and on‑the‑scene, real‑time video between your healthcare facilities and local law enforcement. 





Even in a pandemic, supply chains can’t stop. Transit customers expect deliveries when and where they want them, and expectations continue to rise, with 2‑day, 1‑day, even same‑day shipping becoming the norm. Meeting demands requires instant, reliable communication from the warehouse to the point of delivery to help streamline operations, control costs, and exceed customer expectations.

As demands on your fleet continue to increase and safety measures such as mask‑wearing and social distancing are baked into drivers’ daily lives, there are essential worker technology solutions to ensure safety and efficiency from the warehouse to the point of delivery.

Transit Essential Worker Technology

  • Digital two‑way radios. With WAVE™ two‑way radios, drivers and warehouse contacts can communicate at the touch of a button. Audio is crystal clear. And instant, constant communication gives the warehouse critical intel on stock levels across the country.
  • Intelligence‑driven radio applications. Essential workers on the road need access to accurate information quickly. Whether they are delivering critical personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals or essential cleaning supplies to school campuses, they need to keep operations moving without interruption. Intelligence‑driven applications such as GPS location tracking, word order, and job assignments management, and text message alerts can help.




IT Solutions

According to recent research at Stanford University, a staggering 42% of U.S. workers accomplished all their work remotely in the summer of 2020. Unfortunately, the swift pivot made work difficult for many employees who were not equipped with adequate technology at home. 

Organizations with remote teams have a unique set of challenges:

  • Spotty home WiFi
  • Lack of timely IT support
  • Cybersecurity risks due to unsecured home networks

Fortunately, there are solutions to your remote work challenges. 

Remote Work Technology

  • Private LTE. At the core of working from home is a speedy, reliable internet connection. Motorola’s private LTE network connections can be quickly and easily deployed and installed. Private LTE can transform any home office into a digital workplace that is capable of supporting all devices. This is critical for both remote work and distance learning.
  • Remote monitoring and management. RMM entails investing in a remote team that unlocks broader access to support and services. By transferring day‑to‑day IT demands to a highly skilled team of experts, you and your organization can focus on strategic growth and both on‑site and remote management tasks.
  • Security as a service. Also known as SECaaS, this simply an outsourced model of cybersecurity. By investing in SECaaS, your staff can rest assured that security threats will be handled quickly off‑site.




Public Safety

From dispatch centers to law enforcement facilities, the public safety arena is full of essential workers. The community relies on public safety officials to keep them secure and protected at all times whether there is a pandemic or not.

But public safety essential workers face many growing challenges. They must modify dispatch centers for social distancing and pivot quickly from remote work arrangements to on‑site emergency response. They must also deal with increasing aggression from a disenfranchised public and the risk of COVID‑19 contamination from contact with community members. 

The following suggested technology resources can keep public safety workers effective and protected in this rapidly changing environment.

Public Safety Essential Worker Technology

  • Body‑worn cameras. When staff members such as security guards and police officers are exposed to the public, employers must ensure the safety of those key workers who help keep communities functioning. Body‑worn cameras are small, unobtrusive devices specifically designed for commercial businesses and law enforcement officers. They are proven to deter public aggression toward workers while capturing evidential footage when necessary. In addition to recording interactions, the cameras provide an added sense of security to those wearing them, knowing that help is at hand with the push of a button.
  • Updated video technology. Occupancy counting, thermal readings, face mask detection, and social distancing measurements are all possible with AI‑enabled video surveillance. Your video surveillance technology can act as a broad set of eyes and ears while public safety officials deal with individual crises on the ground.
  • United team communications. Motorola Solutions has created an end‑to‑end communications suite to break down the walls between disparate technologies and systems: instant and reliable two‑way radios unified with broadband communications; robust video security and analytics; dynamic incident management and dispatch software; private LTE to off‑load your network data burden; and services to manage it all for you. All of these solutions are powerful alone, but when integrated, they are game‑changing for your business.




Essential Worker Solutions for Today and Tomorrow

Safety and security needs are evolving quickly during the COVID‑19 pandemic. Equipping your staff with secure communications equipment allows them to carry out their jobs safely and efficiently. With the right tools and support for your essential workers, you can still find success without compromising safety or security.

Whether you manage a manufacturing plant, hospital, school campus, or other facility, you don’t have to go it alone. Partnering with a communications expert and service provider ensures that your essential workers get the tools and support they need to succeed today and tomorrow.

Videos for Essential Worker Safety

Watch the short videos below to learn about some of the specific technology solutions you can use to ensure safety and efficiency for essential workers:

Temperature Detection


Occupancy Counting


Social Distancing


Face Mask Detection


Body‑Worn Cameras





FREE DOWNLOAD: Essential Worker Communications Equipment Guide


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