Businesses are starting to reopen now that the lockdown has been lifted and things are gradually beginning to return to some semblance of normality. However, vigilance is still needed in order to prevent businesses from becoming coronavirus hotspots, as recent localised outbreaks have shown is a very real possibility. Whilst retailers and hospitality businesses have to be concerned about protecting customers in order to stay open, the same is true for factories and industrial units, where relatively confined conditions can lead to rapid transmission of the disease between workers, putting their health at risk and potentially having a serious impact on overall productivity. Fortunately, we can use modern technology in order to expediently deal with the threat of new infections in a cost-effective manner.
What is Body Temperature Monitoring?
Body temperature monitoring is a simple and effective method for protecting workers against the threat of COVID-19, relying on a straightforward thermal imaging system in order to examine employees for signs of the virus. Because visible signs of infection are delayed for sometimes over a week after initial infection, it is important to focus on the early indicators of the virus. This means spotting someone with a fever and isolating them from other staff before they cause a coronavirus outbreak in your workplace. The higher temperature associated with a fever can be detected via a manual thermometer, though this requires careful administration and can result in the employee carrying out the test having to come into close proximity to the subject, heightening the risk of transmission. Instead, thermal cameras can be used in order to scan people en-masse as they enter a workplace. With the proper calibration, thermal imaging devices are able to detect even the slightest variation in body temperature, meaning that it is easy to immediately identify an individual with a temperature that is above the normal 37 degrees centigrade (indicative of a fever) and then prevent them from entering the premises.
Unlike retail environments and offices, manufacturing businesses face some unique challenges when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19 amongst their workforces. This is because workers are typically operating in relatively close quarters and may be required to move around a facility on a regular basis, increasing the risk that they might either spread the infection or transmit it to others. This can cause the virus to move rapidly between different departments and result in serious production downtime for a company. Furthermore, the often physically demanding nature of manufacturing work means that employees may not so easily notice the early warning signs of the virus by themselves, as an elevated temperature and heart rate, a feeling of tiredness or fatigue and heavy breathing can all be casually written off as the results of working particularly hard or not being well rested. It should also be borne in mind that workers are often required to share common areas like break rooms and smoking areas at the same time. This provides an easy opportunity for the virus to take hold, meaning that it is imperative to prevent the outbreak from beginning in the first place.
Temperature Monitoring Products
Body temperature monitoring equipment can come in several forms, allowing a company to choose the right solution for their particular needs in terms of both the number of staff that will need to be scanned and the size of the site itself. The first of these is a freestanding terminal, which can scan small groups of workers as they approach the device and which can be directly monitored by another employee. The terminal displays a direct image from the thermal camera and clearly indicates anybody with an abnormally high body temperature. The terminal has different stand options and can be mounted to a wall. Alternatively, a camera can be mounted to a wall or a on a tripod and then monitored from elsewhere. This is especially good for covering large areas and places where a higher volume of staff might move through at once, decreasing the chance of anyone being obscured and making sure they are scanned. Viewing the camera from a workstation also enables a dedicated worker to monitor multiple feeds simultaneously, allowing for wider coverage of a site. Smaller handheld cameras can also be obtained, which can be useful for smaller businesses and which can be carried around large factories, so tend to require a member of staff to operate them at all times.
Although the cameras themselves are very powerful and straightforward to set up, companies should keep in mind that their effectiveness depends in large part on how they are used. For instance, terminal scanners are best employed near smaller entrances where staff can be scanned one at a time, whilst mounted cameras are best used to cover larger thoroughfares. This also applies to how workers may perceive the scanners. Managers should stress that the devices are there to protect staff from potential harm, discouraging people from trying to hide from the scanners in order to keep working even if they are sick. Proper social distancing measures should also still be enforced, which can be helped by exploiting the body temperature scanners' capacity to be remotely controlled. Clear procedures for using the scanners should also be put in place, so that there is minimal confusion in the event that someone does get flagged as being sick. Following this up with rapid coronavirus testing for colleagues will go a long way towards preventing the virus from spreading further even after an employee has tested positive.
The body temperature monitoring devices provided by ANT are designed with the needs of manufacturers in mind, with options that cater to all manner of workforce sizes and company budgets. Depending on facility layouts and existing COVID-19 plans, companies can pick the specific products that are suitable for their unique needs and combine them to offer the best solution possible. As manufacturers look to get back to normal, the threat of a coronavirus outbreak further disrupting operations is a risk that many cannot afford to take. Fortunately, body temperature monitoring provides a fast and easy way to defend against the virus. When combined with a robust system of safety measures such as masks, social distancing and quarantine times for workers suspected to be ill, businesses can effectively insulate themselves from the threat posed by coronavirus.