Should You Implement a Mask Policy and Temperature Checks in the Workplace?

by | Jul 10, 2020 | businesses, cloth face masks, temperature screening

If you’re like most business owners, the COVID-19 shutdown has been a devastating blow. Now that you’ve gotten the opportunity to reopen, your state has probably thrown many requirements at you that you’re not sure how to navigate.

The last thing you need right now is to be forced to shut down your business again.

The best way to ensure you can get your employees back to work and customers back in your office, store, or restaurant without worrying about the government dealing a final death blow is by creating and sharing new “pandemic reopening” policies and procedures with employees and customers. 

A well-crafted and documented policy can protect you from liability and allow your employees to safely return to work.

You’ve probably got a ton of questions about creating such a policy, and we’ve tried to save you a lot of time by addressing those questions below.

Does my state require masks?

In the U.S., state requirements for masks are constantly changing. As of July 9, 2020, the only states that don’t require citizens to wear masks are:

  • Alaska
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Wisconsin

Thankfully, Littler provides a list of state mask requirements that’s updated daily to keep you up to speed on the latest regulations involving masks. Check out the list for more details surrounding the exact requirements in your state. 

Will masks protect my employees?

In short: yes. Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at UC Davis Children’s Hospital, Dean Blumberg, states recent research has shown that masks reduce risk of infection to the user by 65%.

Studies have also proven that masks are most efficient at preventing users from spreading COVID-19 in the event that they’re infected and do not know it. That being said, if all of your employees are wearing masks, the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak in your workplace is significantly lower than workplaces without a mask-use policy in place.

When implementing this policy, be sure to notify your employees of the state requirements, recommendations, and statistics proving the effectiveness of masks in protecting their health. 

Does my state require temperature checks?

Like mask requirements, each state has its own regulations surrounding temperature checks. Littler provides another daily updated list of all the states that require temperature screenings for employees

As of July 9, 2020, the following states require employees of certain industries to have their temperatures taken before starting a shift:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Delaware (high-risk businesses only)
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • Utah (gyms only)
  • Vermont
  • Washington

If your state is on this list, now is the time to start creating a temperature screening policy for your workplace.

What’s the most efficient way to take employees’ temperatures?

There are a couple ways to go about screening your employees for fevers. These methods include:

Temperature guns

Temperature guns, which use infrared technology to infer temperature through thermal radiation, are increasing in popularity. Unfortunately, the FDA warns that the close distance these thermometers require in order to properly measure temperature poses a risk of spreading disease by breaking social distancing guidelines.

Thermographic temperature screening kiosks

SafeScreen thermographic temperature kiosks are the most efficient solution for employee temperature checks. With no oversight required, these stand-alone cameras allow for social distancing while screening employees for masks (if you so desire) and fevers, notifying you if mask and temperature requirements are not met. 

What does the CDC say about temperature checks?

The CDC’s COVID-19 General Business FAQs recommend minimizing or eliminating the screener’s exposure to employees while taking their temperatures in order to prevent potential spread of the virus. As of now, the only way to eliminate contact between the screener and employees is through SafeScreen’s stand-alone temperature scanning technology.

What do I do if an employee has a fever?

If you’re using a temperature gun to scan employees for fevers, you likely fear the awkward moment when you’ll have to send someone home for having an above average temperature. 

SafeScreen technology helps you circumvent this awkward situation by discreetly sending both you and the user a notification when it detects a fever, allowing you to handle the situation without causing mass panic. 

Does screening employees put me at risk for lawsuits?

SafeScreen technology is both FDA and HIPAA compliant. This will put you at a lower risk for lawsuits than businesses who do not screen their users with this technology.

Quality Face Wear is your one-stop shop for keeping your workplace safe. We offer bulk orders of cloth face masks as well as SafeScreen temperature kiosks to help you reopen and stay open. Contact us today to learn more!