Determining how to effectively implement temperature screening at your organization can be fairly straightforward. Yet like all new protocols, your temperature screening process should be thoughtfully planned, clearly communicated, and carried out respectfully.
1. Know your guidelines: Regulatory agencies like the CDC have created guidelines for implementing health and temperature screening, but establishing protocol at your organization will also require understanding state and local guidelines, in addition to compliance based on your industry. Do your research prior so you have a clear understanding of what you can require of employees, customers, and visitors, and how to best protect them for the line of work or services you provide.
2. Do not discriminate: Make sure the process for screening your employees and visitors is efficient enough to be able to screen everyone who comes through the door, because screening everyone equally is vital. Screening based on gender, age, race, or country of origin is illegal, not to mention disrespectful. Upholding respect and fairness for your employees is paramount during the transitional stressors that the pandemic has caused.
3. Secure employee data: Confidentiality and privacy should not be overlooked when creating a temperature screening protocol. Any information you gather about your employees or visitors must be securely stored. Make certain that any information given is kept in a secured database. Health information must be kept separate from other employee information, per the CDC.
4. Inform employees before they return to the workplace: No one likes surprises when it comes to new workplace procedures. Be sure that before you implement any health screening protocol at your organization, you inform everyone of the new procedures, what their options are, if delays in everyday processes are anticipated, and how they can prepare. It is also suggested to inform visitors and customers if they will be screened, and anything else newly enforced which will impact them.
5. Choose the safest way to screen for your setup: The CDC suggests three ways to screen employees: contactless screening, self-assessment and contact-based screening which requires PPE. Each way of screening has benefits as well as challenges, and choosing the right method for you depends upon your own resources, risks, and structure.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach for companies looking to keep employees safe as lockdowns and restrictions ease. It will depend on your own unique requirements and the needs of your personnel–what it will take to help them feel secure and confident during the shift back into the workplace.