What To Know Before Implementing Contactless Employee Screening

As businesses reopen to the public, many employers are considering implementing employee health screening and temperature checks in order to protect the health of their staff and their customers. 

While all businesses have different interactions with the public and require different precautions,  it is important all employers make sure they are aware of the possible risk factors employees face returning to work. Employee screening is one way to track and determine employee health on a day-to-day basis, keep your workplace safe, and contain the spread of COVID-19.

What is Contactless Employee Screening?

While temperature checks and screening questionnaires are not perfect tests for the coronavirus they do help spot common symptoms and help identify employees who might be at risk or may have been exposed to COVID-19. 

Contactless screening can include a few different types of testing with multiple ways to implement it. Some businesses are looking into using handheld or infrared cameras to check employee and visitor temperatures before they enter the workplace. Additionally, many employers are asking employees to answer screening questions before coming to work to ensure they are not showing common signs of COVID-19.

These methods do not require physical contact and employee screening questionnaires can be completed before each shift or entering the workplace in the safety of a worker’s home.  

Questions to Consider When Implementing a Contactless Employee Screening Program

If you are considering beginning an employee screening program or using contactless screening technology to assist in your COVID-19 response consider these questions:

1. Who must be screened and who is conducting workplace screenings?

Depending on where you live or your industry there may be specific CDC or public health recommendations on who should be screened and how screenings should take place. For instance, some regions may require businesses with over a certain number of employees to conduct daily temperature tests while other regions may just require a comprehensive coronavirus response plan that may or may not include additional screening.

If possible, try to treat all employees equally in your screening policies and have clearly communicated guidelines that are accessible to all employees. Also, be sure to take into consideration the regulations for visitors to your workplace. If you are planning on conducting temperature screenings with a handheld device, who will be conducting these tests and what health protections will they need in order to screen safely?

2. Where is employee health screening information kept?

Maintaining the confidentiality of private health and screening information gathered during your testing process is crucial to ease any concerns about employee or public privacy. Before using any type of screening application or adding health information to workplace databases, employers must guarantee that information is secure, encrypted, and kept separately from employee personnel files.

3. What other protection measures are in place?

Employee and visitor screenings are only a piece of the puzzle of any organization’s coronavirus safety response. Your plan should include many types of safety measures in order to develop a well-rounded policy that reinforces your commitment to employee health. Requirements on handwashing, mask-wearing, physical and social distancing, staggered work shifts and working from home can all be used to decrease the risk of COVID-19 exposure. 

As workers return to work they want to feel they are going to be safe and that their employer has taken all necessary precautions. Implementing a contactless employee screening program is a concrete step towards helping stop the spread of the coronavirus.

UPDATE: As of September 26th, 2020, the Ontario government has made it mandatory for workplaces to conduct pre-entry COVID-19 screening for all employees and essential visitors. This new requirement comes as an amendment to Ontario Regulation 364/20, does not require temperature testing, and doesn’t apply to customers or patrons of businesses that directly serve the public (e.g. retail, hospitality). While many workplaces have already started using employee pre-screening as a preventative measure this is now mandatory for applicable workplaces.

If you’re looking for a way to automate your pre-screening process or need to implement one to meet the new regulations, we are here to help!