• Sarah Fair
    2
    Hi everyone,

    I hope you are all well at this unsettling time.
    We are thinking of implementing temperature checks in the workplace as a way of reassuring our employees that we are doing everything we can to keep them safe at work.
    I see that Countdown started this process with their employees last year and that some daycares do it as well (from Level 3 restrictions onwards).
    I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this and if anyone is currently taking temperature checks in their workplace?
    Kind regards,
    Sarah
  • Sheri Greenwell
    288
    It may reassure workers, but measuring body temperature isn't really that effective as a control. Someone can be asymptomatic and still be infectious. Also, by the time they are showing obvious symptoms such as a fever, they would have already become infectious. It can be useful information, just don't rely on it to "do the heavy lifting."
  • KeithH
    61
    @Sarah Fair
    Please don't take offense, but how does this reassure workers?

    Just curious
  • robyn moses
    41
    We have an optical lens at front door it takes temperature and displays it on sign in tablet or it can divert to 1st aid or H&S computers. A first aider complete a heath questionnaire with each individual coming in..questions like have they been anywhere outside of work and their bubble, do they have cough, cold, etc. In these crazy upside down time many staff feel assured that we are screening out any potential virus carriers.
  • Steffan St Clair-Newman
    10
    We have to conduct daily temperature checks as part of the Meat Industry Association Operating under level 4 guidelines and we also use this activity as a way of checking in with the team as they turn up for shift, asking them how things are, hows the family etc....
  • Sheri Greenwell
    288
    Great way to leverage a requirement to make it a point of personal connection!
  • Tony Donahoe
    17
    "use this activity as a way of checking in with the team as they turn up for shift, asking them how things are, hows the family etc.... "
    I do this too. Wander around with my contactless temperature gauge and zap everyone. Never had a temperature but it is a great way to engage with the staff, have a chat, check their psychological condition, give them a chance to talk about their Covid concerns, etc. Enables me to understand where everyone is at whether there is anything more we can do. Working at Level 4 can be quite stressful for some people.
  • Chris Alderson
    22
    What we now know is that temperature checking is not effective in screening for COVID-19 including Delta Variant. There is lots of research to back this up - here's one such study https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Gregg-Stave-2/publication/351161189_Worksite_Temperature_Screening_for_COVID-19/links/6091699192851c490fb6d54d/Worksite-Temperature-Screening-for-COVID-19.pdf.

    It creates additional workload, complexity and has the potential to create a culture of fear and intimidation for many workers - particularly if the worksite already has other issues in this area.

    At best it has a small deterrent effect on those who may be not 100% well and think they may be picked up by a temperature check and therefore stay at home.
  • Rachael
    98
    If you have to do it, it's all about how you handle it with your staff. But I'd ask what is the driver for the decision?

    I know that under level 3 and 4 the business has to ensure worker health is checked and recorded by some means - which is usually solved by a self declaration, but taking temperatures helps to seal the evidence .... however is temperature checking purposeful for your situation or are you doing it because you feel it's best for your staff, for compliance or another reason?

    In a previous role we did daily temp checks on everyone before they entered the site. At the time there were 1,500+ people working there.

    It was a massive undertaking and there was that fear factor at first (someone started the rumour that the gun also tested for drugs! So funny anyway...)

    But in the end we only did it because we had to (Protocols from MPI and our Global leaders) , it was a pain in the butt to set up, was hellishly expensive (we had to set temporary tents up at each site entrance and have the security staff taking the temps and paperwork) and as mentioned previously, we knew it was a bit of a sham for prevention, but saw it as a way of potentially catching a case and could prepare to shut the area they worked in down if needed.

    Our security team was amazing and turned the experience into a fun one, with music and really great attitudes and as said it was also was good way to check in with everyone.

    In the 3 months that we did the checks only a handful out of the 1,500 per day were ever turned away and even then those people knew they shouldn't have been at work so it wasn't a big deal.
  • Jan-Ulf Kuwilsky
    22
    Lots of great suggestions above.
    To add a sample point (N=1), when I had Covid, the non-contact temperature checks (and hospital ear check) didn't indicate a fever, even though I certainly felt like I had fever - cold, sweats, shivers etc.

    Why do people go to work, even when they don't feel too well? To earn money or to not let down their employer are the first two that spring to mind.
    In my mind, a good approach is to be out there with the staff, so you have their trust and may be able to identify symptoms or unusual behaviour. Additionally, make it explicitly clear that you are supportive of sick leave, even when it is inconvenient as an employer. You might need a bit of support from above to create that messaging, though, as there may be costs to the business.
  • Don Ramsay
    81
    We did temperature self-checking and have found it too inaccurate as the workers may have just come in from the cold or even biked to work, So we are doing a standard declaration each morning. Our staff are not health professionals so expecting to get any degree of accuracy is asking a bit much...
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