The Case For Medical Infrared Forehead Thermometers At Every Workplace
Non contact forehead thermometers quickly became a staple in every home in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic, and as we start returning back to our offices, HR departments will grapple with the liability of employees being back together at work.
In fact, employers will eventually need to take certain steps to help get their employees back into the workplace. But when this does finally happen, they don’t want it to be a health crisis that results in a massive spike in new coronavirus cases. Employers will need to implement some new safety precautions like more handwashing stations and find ways to help with social distancing or limiting physical contact as much as possible. In addition to these things, they can also implement strategies like regularly checking their employees’ temperatures with body thermometers.
Why Temperature Checks Are Important
When it comes to COVID-19, people that are asymptomatic can still be carriers and spread the disease. Therefore, it is important to try and identify someone who is infected with this disease as soon as possible to help limit their exposure to other people.
The best way to do this without getting your hands on an actual testing kit, which are in short supply nowadays, is to be on the lookout for anyone exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus. Some of the most common symptoms include some kind of combination of a cough, difficulty breathing, headache, chills, a loss of taste or smell, and muscle pain. But perhaps the most important indicator that someone may be suffering from coronavirus is whether or not they have a fever.
As soon as someone’s body temperature begins to rise for seemingly no reason, this means that something is likely wrong with them, which can be a sign that they are suffering from COVID-19. As a result, employers should encourage employees who have a fever to go home and enter a self-quarantine period to avoid contaminating anyone else in the office.
Unfortunately, spotting someone with a fever is usually not going to be possible until the fever has reached the point of becoming quite severe, which could take several hours or even days to reach this point. Therefore, employers are going to need some sort of way to be able to detect even the most subtle changes in a person’s temperature.
This is something that will be possible when making employees undergo temperature checks several times a day, usually once before work starts, once before or after lunch, and then again before leaving work at the end of the day.
What Makes Forehead Thermometers the Ideal Way of Detecting Fevers
When it comes to measuring someone’s body temperature, the forehead is not the ideal way to accomplish it. This is because the rectum provides much more accurate temperature readings. However, providing employees with rectal temperature checks is obviously not going to be something that is acceptable or even feasible in the workplace. Therefore, they are going to need to resort to using forehead scans in order to try and measure the person’s body temperature.
But it is important to realize that the average temperature of someone’s forehead is not going to be the exact same as the other parts of their body. Therefore, you cannot just directly compare an oral temperature with a forehead temperature because it is like trying to compare apples and oranges.
Generally speaking, someone is going to have a standard forehead temperature of around 97 degrees Fahrenheit. So if they take someone’s forehead temperature at one point and it is within the standard temperature range and they take it again a few hours later and find that it is a few degrees higher, then this might be a sign that they are experiencing the beginning stages of a fever.
A forehead temperature check is also ideal because it can be taken from a distance. If someone needs to have their temperature checked by another person, then this will involve them getting into close proximity to one another in order to insert a digital thermometer into the person’s ear. This is something that you will want to avoid at all costs since close proximity to another person is a surefire way to drastically increase your chances of contracting coronavirus. But the only type of temperature checks that can be done at a distance are forehead checks, which is thanks to the type of temperature checking device that is used during this process.
The Benefits of a Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer
As previously mentioned, one of the best tools in the fight against coronavirus is plenty of distance between healthy individuals and infected individuals. However, this space will also apply to any objects that have recently touched an infected individual.
So if you were using a digital thermometer, which needs to make direct contact with a person in order to measure their temperature, then it would need to be completely sanitized in-between uses. This would drastically increase the amount of time that it would take to make it through the lineup of employees that need to have their temperature taken multiple times a day.
But when it comes to using a non-contact infrared thermometer, it means that the thermometer never actually has to make contact with any employees. This allows you to easily work your way through the lineup of employees within a matter of only a few minutes.
By using a non-contact thermometer, it also means that the person conducting the tests will require far less PPE than if they had to use some bulk thermometers that needed to be physically inserted into the ear or mouth. This is because the individual will be standing a much greater distance away from someone while using their forehead thermometer compared to how close they would have to stand when using something other than a no-touch thermometer.
Best Practices for Taking Temperatures In the Workplace
Regardless of whether you already have an infrared thermometer for medical purposes in the workplace or decide to purchase a new contactless thermometer specifically for dealing with this coronavirus pandemic, then there are a few best practices that you will need to follow.
For example, when having employees lining up to get their temperatures checked, you need to make sure that they are maintaining proper social distancing. The best way to do this by staggering the start times of some employees so that not everyone is showing up to work at the exact same time. Otherwise, crowding can make it hard to maintain social distancing.
So by having one-half of the employees start at 9 a.m. and then moving the other half of the employees to a temporary 9:30 a.m start time, it will help ensure that you will have enough time to use the infrared thermometer to work through the manageable line of employees before the other half show up.
You will also need to know at which point to send someone home for a period of self-quarantine. If you misjudge the range of temperatures from a forehead thermometer that is acceptable for someone to have, it can have devastating consequences. For example, it could either result in mistakenly sending home perfectly healthy employees or allowing contaminated employees to remain at work because their slight fever doesn’t reach what you would consider traditional fever levels. That is why you need to know the ideal temperature for someone’s forehead should be when they are healthy.
Every individual is going to have a different natural body temperature but there is a certain point where it becomes too high to occur in most ordinary situations. Generally speaking, this temperature is considered to be anything higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. At this point, it is not guaranteed that the person has coronavirus but it does make it more likely. Therefore, you should not take any chances and instead send the person home for some self-quarantine measures.
How to Implement Infrared Thermometers Into the Workplace
There are many people who often wonder if they are even allowed to start making employees do these daily temperature checks. With both the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission both actively working to protect employees against invasive or biased medical tests being done, it calls into question whether or not you can lawfully coerce employees into having their temperature taken using a non-contact thermometer every morning.
But according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, this step is classified as being a business necessity during this pandemic, which gives you the ability to use a forehead thermometer on your employees each day.