Reducing Transmission of COVID-19 Among Employees: How Temperature Screening Can Help

If your facility is currently responding to increased demand for the production or distribution of the critical goods that Canadians are relying on during this critical time, keeping your facilities open and your workforce productive are likely top priorities. Creating a comprehensive health and safety response plan is a must, and by incorporating temperature screening measures in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, organizations can help protect their warehouse and production employees on the job and keep their operations functional.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on today’s businesses. Some organizations — especially those with large warehouses and production lines — recognize that safe work practices and risk mitigation policies are paramount to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Preparing for COVID-19 in the workplace takes many forms. A newer measure includes hiring screeners to conduct health and temperature screening. Many organizations are incorporating a screener model (addition of screeners) into their safe work strategies to assess the health of their employees. The addition of this new role to a company’s operations provides an added layer of peace of mind for its workforce. Both the Canadian Government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) out of the United States point to temperature screening as one element of a comprehensive approach to protecting the health and safety of their workforce by mitigating the risk associated with COVID-19 in your workplace. Of course, the general guidelines still apply: hand hygiene, keeping your distance, washing surfaces, and self-isolating if you have symptoms.

The health screener model during COVID-19

Introducing a new role: what screeners do

Screeners play an important role in your health and safety plan by acting as the bridge between the policy and its implementation. Screeners enforce hygiene protocols, conduct health questionnaires, check temperatures, identify high-risk employees, and assist in removing these individuals from the premises according to company protocols. They can even help enforce physical distancing requirements as employees wait to have their temperature checked, and they can perform follow-up tasks with individuals who have an elevated temperature.

The screener’s safety is a top priority. By virtue of their position, they are in a low risk position as they receive training on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and are always in PPE (protective glasses, gloves, a mask and, if possible, a full body long sleeve gown) while working.

How it works

Before entering your facility, every employee answers a health screening questionnaire developed by you and administered by a screener. The questionnaire asks basic questions related to COVID-19 symptoms and exposure risks. Then, the employee’s temperature is taken by the screener. If the reading is normal, the employee is permitted to enter and goes about their shift as normal. If the employee’s reading shows that they have an elevated temperature after a few attempts, or if the health questionnaire flagged any issues, they are asked to leave the premises (in accordance with protocols established by your organization).

The goal of health screening is to prevent symptomatic employees from coming into contact with other employees and spreading the virus.

Health screener model best practices

When implementing a screener model, these are a few things to consider:

  • Communication. It’s important to communicate the program and the information etc. that will be required of your workforce ahead of time. This should be accompanied by information about the other safe work practices you are implementing and COVID-19 symptoms that employees should look out for.
  • Have your employees arrive at least 15 minutes earlier than they did before. The main reason for this is to ensure that they have acclimatized to the indoor temperature, allowing the thermometer gun to take a more accurate reading of their temperature.
  • Establish a separate screening area that every employee passes through before they can enter the main facility. Likewise, ensure there is a dedicated exit for any individuals who must leave the premises; the exit should be separate from the entrance and, again, should be accessible without entering the facility.
  • If the volume of employees that have to be screened is an issue, consider the following:
    • Staggering start times to lessen the burden on the screeners and space requirements for entrance/exit.
    • Having multiple entrances — prior to entering the facility — that is fully staffed with screeners.
  • Establish a full set of protocols for the program, such as identifying the temperature threshold screeners will check for. It also includes how employees who have an elevated temperature or are considered high-risk are managed. For example, will the individual with an elevated temperature be re-tested after 15 minutes in case their body hadn’t acclimatized yet?
  • Create the questionnaire that each employee will be given at the start of the process. Make sure to include questions about symptoms and possible exposure events.

Let’s look at why this new screener model is being adopted by organizations.

Benefits of Temperature screening

Focusing on the health and safety of your employees is always an important part of an employer’s responsibilities, but as COVID-19 continues to pose a real threat to the health and safety of all Canadians, it’s more important than ever to have plans in place that help reduce transmission of COVID-19 among employees.

Health screening can be an important part of your strategy. Here’s how it can help.

Reduce transmission rates

Implementing health screening at your facility is one way you can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate the risks of transmission. Health screening evaluates each of your employees for common symptoms of COVID-19 before they enter your facility and it prevents those who are high-risk (elevated temperature, contact with someone who has or is suspected of having COVID-19) from working alongside other employees.

This is the immediate benefit to your organization: health screening can help you prevent symptomatic individuals from entering your facility and potentially spreading the coronavirus.

Promote productivity

Beyond being an important part of your duty to protect employees from the coronavirus, having health and safety plans in place that reduce the transmission of COVID-19 among employees can actually promote productivity.

By preventing symptomatic individuals from entering the facility, you can help keep your workforce healthy. And a healthy workforce has fewer gaps in coverage from absences, enabling your organization to continue functioning at a high level — which is especially important as demand rises for essential services and other vital resources.

Furthermore, your organization’s ability to meet rising demand also depends on remaining open, which is why avoiding a facility closure or massive employee quarantine due to a COVID-19 case onsite is another top priority. 

Signal responsibility

Taking care of your employees is good business. Instituting the very visible prevention measures of health screening demonstrates that you are taking employees’ health seriously. It gives your employees a level of confidence in both your management of the situation and in the safety of your facility which can extend to improved retention rates of your best workers. Furthermore, it can signal to consumers and the public that your organization is a responsible corporate citizen and can help bolster confidence in the safety surrounding your products.

Contribute to Canadians’ well-being

Continuing to employ workers in what has become uncertain economic times is a valuable endeavour — not to mention another important reason to keep your facilities open. And, when your facility remains open and productive, your organization is able to supply Canadians with vital resources like food and medicines. Canadian manufacturers and distribution facilities are playing an important role in the continued functioning of society during this time, but your ability to do so is contingent on maintaining a workforce that is able to work.

How to reduce transmission of COVID-19 among employees

Health screening of employees should only be one part of your organization’s strategy for preparing your workplace for COVID-19. To start building this strategy, start with the Government of Canada’s risk-informed decision-making guidelines for workplaces and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. These guidelines offer risk-mitigating strategies for organizations with a variety of exposure scenarios. As the situation is changing rapidly, using the government’s framework to make decisions about public health actions can help organizations remain responsive to the needs of their workforce in their business continuity strategies.

Identifying the safe work practices that are right for your organization is the next step. The Government of Canada also provides a comprehensive list of precautions employees and employers should take to limit the spread of the coronavirus. There are other resources that can help guide you in determining the practices and procedures you should put in place. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) out of the United States put together this guide to cleaning and disinfecting facilities that helpfully breaks down what is required to thoroughly clean a community facility. The World Health Organization has also put together guidelines for readying your workplace for the coronavirus.

As part of a comprehensive health and safety plan that outlines your organization’s strategies to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, health screening can play an important, public role in protecting your workforce. Adecco has introduced this model to some of our Canadian clients, so we’re excited to share information about what a health screening model can look like for your organization. Learn more here.

Automated Temperature Screening is effortless and creates a safe trusted environment that eases the tension, fear, and anxiety people often feel after a pandemic. 

Automated Pass Management Temperature Screening Device. This device requires no physical interaction. Simply look at the camera and get the temperature in 1 second. Facial recognition checks-in and maintains records of the individual temperatures. Designed to help protect the health and safety of both employees and guests by preventing anyone with a temperature from entering a facility. it’s the perfect solution for office buildings, warehouses, schools, government buildings, museums, sports arenas, theme parks, movie theaters, gyms, rail stations, hotels, restaurants, or practically any public venue.

Protect your employees and customers with minimal distraction and effort.

TempSafe Technology makes temperature screening easy. Explore our site to learn more about our Temperature Screening products.

Temperature Screening Solution

Safely screen employees and visitors for high temperature as they walk into a building or a defined area. The system can prevent people from entering if the pre-defined temperature threshold is exceeded or are not wearing a mask, and trigger an alarm.

  • Provides fast and accurate body-temperature measurement
  • Detects if a protective mask is being worn
  • Users can be denied door or system access if a high temperature or no mask is detected
  • Alarm options include strobe light, siren and popup on PC workstation 
  • Saves data in personnel safety log and verifies records.
  • Data, alerts and reporting available

The solution combines a thermal camera and our latest face, palm and fingerprint recognition technology for employee authentication, providing advanced security and convenience, all on a single affordable device.

Used to help screen potentially affected people in the workplace and public venues:

Schools, airports, hospitals, construction sites, correctional institutions, government and office buildings

No Touch Biometric Reader

Embedded face & palm recognition sensor provides 100% hands-free hygienic user authentication.

  • Used for various applications including Access Control, Time & Attendance, Visitor Management, Event Management & more
  • User authentication read range up to 8 feet
  • Face verification possible while wearing protective mask (Palm recognition advised while wearing mask)
  • Dual-lens IR & VL camera recognizes faces in both total darkness and bright sunlight 
  • Access Levels, Groups, Holidays, DST, Duress Mode (password), Anti-Passback, Record Query
  • Interfaces with
    • KeyTracer Key Control Systems
    • AssetTracer Smart Locker Systems
    • Various Access Control Systems