As lockdown eases across the UK, conditions are starting to gradually return to something resembling normal for many businesses, with staff returning to work and customers beginning to spend once more. However, the threat posed by COVID-19 has not disappeared completely, with some smaller outbreaks breaking out in towns across the country, raising fears amongst many of being placed under a regional lockdown in order to contain the spread. Accordingly, many businesses are doing their part to prevent the virus from spreading amongst their employees and customers by taking measures to promote social distancing and cleanliness and keeping a keen eye out for symptoms. However, whilst these measures may suffice for workplace environments such as supermarkets and smaller shops, manufacturers are having to contend with their own set of challenges when keeping their staff safe. In order to beef up protection, a simple but comprehensive measure such as body temperature monitoring can be used to stop an outbreak of the disease before it begins. By using straightforward technology to our advantage, we can protect our businesses and our communities.
COVID and Distilleries
The distilling industry has been hard hit by coronavirus, with bars and pubs closed across the country, demand dropped precipitously for alcohol products. However, with business ramping up again, many distilling firms need to make sure that they can meet all their orders and minimise production downtime. In such a situation, an outbreak of coronavirus amongst workers could be disastrous. This is compounded by the fact that distilleries typically have some attributes that can make them especially vulnerable to virus transmission. Namely, the fact that workers can find themselves clumped close together in some areas of the facility, whilst other employees are tasked with moving between sections, potentially carrying the virus with them and spreading it throughout the whole business in a short amount of time. Whereas office workers can to some extent rely on compartmentalisation or home working to keep themselves safe, manufacturing sector employees have no such luck, needing to be present on the site and working in a team. Additionally, the fact that distilling is an industry that relies on small and highly skilled employees means that just a few virus cases can have a major impact on daily operations.
How Temperature Monitoring Works
Body temperature monitoring is the process of taking regular measurements of employees' body temperatures in order to detect someone who may have a fever. A core body temperature elevated by just one degree can be an early warning sign of coronavirus, making this a very effective way to combat the disease in a pre-emptive manner. The temperature monitoring is done via specialised devices which use thermal cameras in order to actively scan people as they move through the camera's field of vision. If an abnormally high temperature is detected, then the device will inform the operator who can then relay this information to the employee. They can then isolate themselves for a designated period of time or get tested for coronavirus at a nearby testing centre. This means that one sick employee can be prevented from infecting a large portion of the workforce, allowing the distillery to continue operating at full capacity. These monitoring devices can be set up in a variety of locations and are relatively easy to use and they can be scaled to meet the needs of any size business. This makes thermal imaging technology a great way to start preventing COVID in the workplace.
There are several different type of monitoring devices available which can all be used to fulfil different roles. These include smaller freestanding terminals, mounted cameras and handheld devices. Terminals are touchscreen-operated and function much like a regular smart device whilst being mounted on a stand or on a wall. As people approach, the device will scan them and log their temperature. This is best used on smaller groups of people or large groups moving in a single file (due in large part to the limited field of view offered by the terminal). Mounted cameras can be fixed almost anywhere in the building and are best used to cover large areas , scanning crowds (up to 30 people at a time) to pick out anybody who may be falling ill. The cameras can also be remotely monitored from a workstation, meaning that distilleries will not need to hire employees specifically to babysit individual devices and managers can instead just receive notifications of a worrying scan result as and when they occur, freeing them up to attend to normal business operations. Finally, handheld devices can be carried around the site by trained users in order to scan employees at their stations if this is more convenient.
In order to get the best value from body temperature monitoring, it is imperative that businesses utilise the technology in a way that best fits their needs and plays to its strengths. For example, a camera can be mounted in a main entrance or reception area in order to scan large numbers of staff as they arrive to work. This means that an infected person will not be given the chance to enter the building and spread the virus. Additionally, terminals can be set up in different departments or break rooms in order for employees to scan themselves regularly as they walk past it during the course of the day. This may also help to maintain some semblance of isolation between various parts of the business, further slowing the spread of a potential outbreak. Terminals can also be moved around the distillery in order to cover different phases of operations as weeks and months go by.. By combining this with the latest government guidance and expert knowledge about the disease, firms can maintain a robust line of defense.
Body temperature monitoring is a powerful tool that many businesses are adopting as a means to navigate out of the coronavirus crisis. The products offered by ANT are specifically intended to be as customisable as possible, allowing businesses of all sizes to mix them together to suit their needs. Industries like distilling can especially benefit from this technology, as the devices' passive nature means that they require minimal oversight in order to function, giving highly skilled staff the ability to both stay safe and keep up with their duties as the pace of business increases once more and the recovery begins.