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Workplace Temperature Checks: A Guide to the Best Thermometers

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP

August 19 2020

As we all try to find our footing and discover a new normal following the COVID-19 pandemic, many workplaces are taking extra precautions to ensure their employees are healthy when they come in to work. These protective measures often include temperature checks to ensure staff members are not sick when they head into the office. If your workplace is considering screening for fevers at the door, you’ll need the right tool for the job. InfoMart has compiled a list of thermometers, their pros and cons, and how they can keep your workplace free of COVID-19.

Medical thermometers come in a variety of forms. The most common varieties are oral, thermal, and adhesive thermometers. Each can be used to detect a fever brought on by an illness. The CDC considers any temperature higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit to be a fever, and fevers often signal a contagious infection.

Oral Thermometers

An oral thermometer is a thermometer in its most familiar form. These provide the most accurate readings out of any kind of thermometer, as they’re inserted directly under the patient’s tongue. They’re also relatively affordable and can even be purchased in bulk, making it a cost-effective option for at-work temperature tests. However, there are some obvious drawbacks to utilizing oral thermometers for employee temperature checks.

Firstly, oral thermometers must be thoroughly sanitized in between each use to avoid the risk of transmitting infection from employee to employee. This makes them impractical for screening large groups of people. Oral thermometers also take the longest to produce a result when compared with infrared and adhesive thermometers.

Thermal Thermometers

Thermal thermometers are rising in popularity because they don’t require physical contact to generate a reading. When used properly, an infrared thermometer can provide an accurate reading at a lower turnaround time than traditional oral thermometers. These are also less invasive and more comfortable for employees. The benefits they provide make them ideal for screening large groups of people quickly without ever needing to touch them. However, infrared and thermal thermometers come with their own set of drawbacks.

Infrared thermometers are the priciest option, as they must meet strict FDA guidelines. They are less easy to use, occasionally needing resets or restarts that an oral or adhesive thermometer does not require. These types of thermometers are also prone to giving inaccurate readings. Since there is no contact involved in this type of temperature check, it can be more difficult to receive an accurate measure of someone’s internal body temperature. Additionally, the surrounding temperature can affect the reading. 

Adhesive Thermometers

The last option, adhesive thermometers, is recommended by the CDC as an alternative to its oral and infrared counterparts. Adhesive thermometers are the cheapest option by far. There is some variety to choose from, with both single-use and reusable options available. They provide a cheap, easy solution for workplace temperature checks based on cost alone. However, employers should be warned: adhesive thermometers are the least accurate of the three options. They can also be more difficult to read and offer the fewest amount of tracking options.

What’s the Solution?

So, which should employers use for workplace temperature checks? There is no easy answer. There are also a variety privacy and health concerns when it comes to taking temperatures at work. Results must remain confidential, which can be difficult if there is a line of people waiting to get into the office. It is unrealistic for every business to attempt to find a medical professional to conduct fever checks at the door, so some employees might have to volunteer to screen their peers. How, then, should workplaces conduct temperature checks quickly, confidentially, and safely?

 

InfoMart has the solution: SymTem, a symptom and temperature tracking app designed to aid businesses in a post-pandemic world of work. SymTem works by having employees self-report their symptoms and take their own temperatures—from their homes before they leave for work. After uploading their results, their symptoms and temperatures are vetted against CDC symptom guidelines, state guidance, or customized criteria, and they are issued either a ready-for-work badge or a work-from-home directive. This circumvents the need to mass-order large quantities of thermometers or pick volunteers to check temperatures at the door. Giving your staff the ability to self-report their symptoms and temperature also prevents confidentiality or privacy concerns as employees will only have access to their own information.

SymTem is also equipped with a robust management platform that allows admins to oversee screening results, manage disinfection requests, monitor internal hotspots, and more.

Keeping your employees safe and healthy during a pandemic is complicated. But it doesn’t have to be. Partner with a trusted provider that has been managing and minimizing workplace risk for three decades.

To learn more about SymTem, contact us.

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit www.tammycohen.com.

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit www.InfoMart-USA.com, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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