Running a business during a global pandemic and flu season is stressful, to say the very least.
With flu symptoms so closely resembling COVID symptoms, you can’t afford to take any chances this season.
Just one employee testing positive for the coronavirus could force you to send home an entire shift’s worth of employees for a mandatory two-week quarantine.
With this in mind, you’ve considered implementing a temperature screening policy in your workplace, but you’re worried about safety and privacy concerns.
Thankfully, temperature screening kiosks don’t come with many regulations and are actually meant to mitigate your risk. Certain temperature scanners, like SafeScreen, are actually HIPAA and FDA compliant.
Temperature guns, on the other hand, involve more risk, privacy concerns, and require more effort to maintain and operate.
Before implementing temperature checks in the workplace, it’s important to understand these seven best practices.
1. Create a plan for sending home workers with fevers
When using a temperature gun, you’re forced to send employees with fevers home in front of everyone else in line. Not only is this awkward, but it is also a huge violation of privacy.
With a temperature screening kiosk like SafeScreen, our innovative software will send you a discrete notification once someone walks in with a temperature that’s higher than your designated threshold (the CDC recommends 100.4°F).
Talk with your safety managers or HR personnel to create a plan for sending home employees once you receive this notification. Consider having a separate room for these employees to isolate in while they wait for you to re-screen them and decide the next course of action.
In order for these workers to return to your establishment, they should certify in writing that they have not had any COVID symptoms in at least three days, as well as provide negative test results and necessary documentation from their doctor stating that they can return to work.
2. Be mindful of privacy when performing contact tracing
After receiving confirmation that one of your employees has tested positive for COVID-19, you’ll need to notify everyone who has been in direct contact with said employee and send them home to quarantine for two weeks.
This information must only be shared with those who had direct contact with the sick employee, and their identity must be reported to a local health authority and concealed from other workers to maintain privacy.
3. Supply the proper PPE and appoint someone to perform the screenings
When using a temperature gun to screen your employees, you’ll need to supply the operator with the proper PPE. This includes, but is not limited to; gloves, a mask, and hand sanitizer. Given that temperature guns break social distancing policies and put both the operator and the employee being screened at risk, you will need to take as many precautions as possible.
With a temperature screening kiosk, no PPE is necessary–unless you require your employees to wear masks as they enter your facility. In this case, SafeScreen can be programmed to alert you when people enter your facility without wearing a mask.
4. Use a screening questionnaire
Because a fever isn’t the only symptom of COVID-19, it’s important to regularly ask your employees if they’ve been experiencing any other symptoms. If you’re using a temperature gun, you should ask them before screening if they’ve recently had a cough or shortness of breath. Anyone who answers “yes” to these questions should be sent home.
Ideally, these questions should be asked in a separate room to maintain privacy. At Quality Face Wear, we’re looking forward to releasing a new temperature screening kiosk that will ask these questions for you. No need to hire an operator, designate a special room for questions, or spend your precious time executing these questionnaires.
Keep up with our blog to be the first to know when we release this new product!
5. Pick a location to conduct your screenings
The CDC recommends that temperature checks be performed just before the entrance of your facility. We do not recommend using a temperature gun to screen through car windows, as this will produce inaccurate results.
You should also designate a small room not far from your entrance that you can send employees with elevated temperatures to wait for re-screenings. It’s important that this room has enough space for employees to sit six feet apart.
6. Have a plan to manage employees who refuse screening
Unfortunately, you may run into employees who refuse to have their temperatures taken. While you may think that all of your employees are responsible and trustworthy, it’s important to have a plan just in case this occurs.
Communicate your plan to your employees in advance and let them know how their denial to be screened will be managed. It’s important to drive home the fact that this policy is for their own safety and refusal to abide by it could cost someone their life.
7. Continue your other preventative measures
Remind your employees to stay home if they’re experiencing any symptoms and to leave work if they feel ill. Let them know that they will be sent home to self-isolate if they show up to work with a fever.
Implementing a temperature screening policy is only a small piece of the larger puzzle of COVID protection. This should be used in addition to, and not as a replacement for: mask enforcements, frequent hand washing, and social distancing.
At Quality Face Wear, our goal is to provide you with as many pieces of this puzzle as possible to keep your business open. Our cloth face masks and SafeScreen temperature kiosks are just what you need to keep your employees and customers safe. Contact us today to request a quote!