Home > Safety & Environmental Help and Guidance > Temperature & Humidity > Workplace Temperature Screening Under COVID-19
Using temperature testing as a method for screening employees arriving at work is not without its controversy but is still a relatively easy way of checking for COVID-19 in the workplace. It is simple, cost effective and does not involve invasive procedures.
It is vital to understand that temperature testing purely on its own and without consideration of some important factors, will not be enough. Even then, it is easy to miss people who are infected but do not yet show symptoms. Having said that, a carefully considered screening programme conducted regularly will help your organisation mitigate the risk.
If you are going to introduce this into your workplace then there are some points that you must consider.
Not all Infra-red (IR) thermometers are born equal! You should be careful in selecting the right kind of thermometer as infra-red monitoring is not an absolute but is relative to its calibration.
Normal IR thermometers are calibrated to a matt black surface and all readings are then relative to that based on their reflectivity index (how light reflective the surface is). As skin is not matt black, then it needs a different calibration coefficient, which is built into some models, especially designed for forehead use.
The unit pictured here is one such thermometer is one such device and you can find links to suitable products here:
You can also use in-ear thermometers, which are also infra-red and are designed specifically for the purpose. The major problem here is that you need to be in close proximity to the employee and there is contact between the thermometer and the ear, so each test takes much longer and requires more PPE, more cleaning, more training and is more invasive, so carries with it more issues in terms of employee consent.
For temperature testing to be conducted safely, effectively, and in accordance with data protection and company policy, employers should develop a procedure to suit themselves. Below is an example of such a procedure, which can be modified for your situation.
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