Employee health and wellness should be the primary focus of every organization. Without these human resources, an organization is hard-pressed to provide the products and services customers need. The healthier an employee is, the better able he or she will be to contribute to company success. Individual health and wellness will either disrupt or enhance collective health and wellness. Illness has a way of spreading within the confines of closely connected work groups to the degree that workflow is substantially reduced. The potential transmission of contagious illness among staff members is an unfortunate reality for most, if not all, workplaces. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to pivot in ways that many were ill-prepared to handle.
Production interruptions, resulting from employee illness, are of significant concern because shipping delays tend to cause a drop in customer confidence. In a food-related business, there is also the threat of customer illness because of an employee’s health issue or poor hygiene. Staphylococcal Gastroenteritis and Hepatitis A are illnesses which can be passed to customers in settings where food is prepared. A customer could also contract Norovirus because of a food handler’s improper (or lack of) hand washing. A misstep like this can ruin a company’s reputation and financial standing.
Mitigation of these scenarios requires swift implementation of processes to support employee and customer well-being. Preventing the onset of illness should be the first line of defense. In food preparation and processing establishments, for example, food handlers are reminded to “minimize bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat food.” They are also instructed to maintain clean hands, hair and body and to avoid scratching the scalp, touching the nose and coughing/sneezing into the hand. The PMA (Produce Marketing Association) has provided suggested guidelines for food facilities which include, limiting access to only essential staff, frequent washing and sanitizing of hands, airing out offices/facilities. The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) has published new guidance on acceptable practices during a pandemic. One of the measures the EEOC condones is employers requiring workers to wear personal protective gear.
The next level of protection against illness is comprehensive screening to identify and resolve issues. The EEOC allows for ADA-covered employers to question employees and applicants regarding symptoms to determine the nature of an illness. The guidance states that, according to the CDC, “an individual who has COVID-19 or symptoms associated with it should not be in the workplace.” In other words, employers have the ability to send home sick employees.
Given that fever is a primary symptom of COVID-19, employers now have the authority to measure employee body temperature. Many organizations have begun this practice, in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. Some have even installed full body scanners at facility entrances to ensure that no one with a fever is allowed to enter the premises. For most organizations, a non-contact forehead thermometer is an excellent option. These thermometers ensure accurate, stable results and are safe for measuring human body temperature. They are simple to use and quickly display temperature readings on an LCD screen. The ability to easily scan large work groups in a short amount of time, makes non-contact thermometers quite effective. Added features like an alarm to alert users when a temperature is outside the normal range, make these devices particularly useful. High-quality, reliable equipment is crucial for operating any business, especially during a time of immense uncertainty. DeltaTrak’s Non-Contact Infrared Forehead Thermometer, Model 15007 is the right choice.