These days, we have talked about the importance of having a response plan for returning to work safely and discussed how these new adjustments represent challenges for companies. A response plan includes strategies for reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 at your workplace such as promoting health and safety practices, developing cleaning and disinfection processes, educating employees on how to wear/use PPE, and much more.
In our last blog, we shared our findings related to how US employers are handling the returning to the workplace. In spite of many safety measures employers placed at their workplace, a low percentage said they plan to test employees before they return to work.
Actually, the CDC recommends conducting health screenings to employees as a strategy to mitigate spread. Health screening is crucial to identify potential risk of exposure to the virus and prevent transmission among workers and customers.
Today, we have prepared this blog on how to conduct health screenings to your employees safely. Additionally, we share some key considerations to guarantee a successful implementation of health screening in your strategy for returning to work.
Administered health screenings
Employers can ensure a safe workplace by implementing formal health-check procedures before employees enter into the facilities. You can opt to conduct health screenings by installing stands or health-check points with physical barriers, such as plastic or glass windows.
When employers need to screen multiple individuals, the CDC recommends the screening staff use a new pair of gloves for each employee as well as to clean and disinfect rigorously the thermometer between checks. Keep in mind the use of PPE when conducting health screenings like facemasks, eye protection and disposable gloves. Also, the screening staff has to wash their hands after each screening and discard disposable PPE properly.
Self health-checks by employees
This is another strategy that employers can use for monitoring employee symptoms. You can ask your employees to take their own temperature before coming to the workplace. Perhaps, the main advantages of this alternative is that employers incorporate social distancing and it can save time everyday.
Before an employee enters the facilities, the screening staff have to make a visual examination of the employee for illness signs, ask the employee to confirm that his/her temperature is less than 38º C as well as confirm if she/he is experiencing symptoms related with COVID-19.
Employee health screen considerations
Whether employees decide to conduct health screenings by specialized staff or not, here are some points that must be considered:
- For health screenings stands or stations, employers have to designate a particular area. Moreover, these spaces have to be sanitized frequently.
- There are some advantages when employees are asked to check their own symptoms, including keeping social distancing and saving time everyday. However, employers can deal with inaccurate reporting when opting for this alternative.
- If it is not possible to install physical barriers, make sure that the screener is maintaining 6 feet distance on an employee during the screening process. Reliance only on PPE can be a risk and reduce the effectiveness of health-check procedures.
- If there are many employees who need to be screened, you can make adjustments in employees’ entry times or install more health screening stations in order to avoid long lines and maintain social distancing.
- Remember that personal health-checks must be conducted safely and respectfully.
- Remember to always stay updated on health screening processes and parameters of state and local health authorities.
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