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During COVID-19 How you guys are checking employee temperatures at your facility


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#26 crystalbee

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 06:24 PM

We are using health questionnaires with employees which includes if they have been in contact with anyone with symptoms, tested positive, or is in process of being tested.  Yes to any of these they do not get through the door.

 

As of today we started taking temperatures of all employees as they enter with an infrared thermometer to the forehead.  We are using only one entrance location to enter the facility.  According to our HR this is not an EEOC issue as the laws have become more lax, temporarily, due to the nature of the event.  Any temperature above 99.5oF (37.5oC) the employee cannot enter the facility and is sent home.  They are required to get a test for Coronavirus and cannot return until the test is negative or they are free of symptoms.

 

I don't know where the source of the temperature limit came from, I believe the CDC.  Of course, all of this is being documented daily and records only accessible by HR and select managers / supervisors.

 

We even changed the uniform policy where employees do not use locker rooms for changing (large number of employees in small space).  They take uniforms home and come dressed to work.  They will have to bring the dirty uniforms with them in order to be let into the facility to prevent persons from washing / laundering at home.  HR is setting up ability for employees to clock in on an app on their phone which uses geolocation.

 

This afternoon we had an employee test with a 104oF temperature, but he had just come in after heavy exercising.  He rested outside for about 5 minutes and was tested again and passed.  This was documented as well.

 

Really this is about all you can do unless you plan to shut the facility down.  So far, we've had 3 people affected by this; the rest are working from home or coming to work.  We are even training office personnel to run equipment in / when we have to start quarantining a large number of people.  We also enforce the 6 foot spacing where possible and do not have meetings face to face any longer.  Our company is doing lots and lots to help prevent it entering our facility and affecting our workers, but I know it will happen at some point.

 

But, all of this will / can change in the next day...everything is evolving quickly.

 

Very helpful info Ryan. Do you mind sharing which app your company is using for contact-less check ins? Our timeclock is old school and uses fingerprints. Obviously not gonna happen in our upcoming production season.



#27 The Food Scientist

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 06:39 PM

Very helpful info Ryan. Do you mind sharing which app your company is using for contact-less check ins? Our timeclock is old school and uses fingerprints. Obviously not gonna happen in our upcoming production season.

 

Our clock in system is old school too lol. What we did is we just disabled it temporarily and clock ins will be manual by shift supervisors. But hey if an app works well why not! 


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#28 crystalbee

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 07:00 PM

Our clock in system is old school too lol. What we did is we just disabled it temporarily and clock ins will be manual by shift supervisors. But hey if an app works well why not! 

 

That would be a good alternative, but our company unfortunately had to furlough a lot of our office staff and I can't imagine our existing staff would want to take on additional timeclock and attendance responsibilites manually with no pay upgrade :( 

 

We are in crazy times (pun intended) 



#29 Ryan M.

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 08:53 PM

Very helpful info Ryan. Do you mind sharing which app your company is using for contact-less check ins? Our timeclock is old school and uses fingerprints. Obviously not gonna happen in our upcoming production season.

 

It is through our payroll provider.  I think each major payroll provider has an app which can be used for management, and/or employees.



#30 Maryvone

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Posted 23 April 2020 - 11:10 AM

we do temperature checks two times a day, we have also given every employee a bottle of sanitizers and we did training on hand washing and sanitizing, we encourage our employees to wash and sanitize for at least seconds regularly, we also provide masks to our employees.



#31 shill76

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Posted 23 April 2020 - 12:15 PM

Mary,

 

Do you have an SOP written for the temp checks and mask.  If so could you provide me with a copy to look at?

we do temperature checks two times a day, we have also given every employee a bottle of sanitizers and we did training on hand washing and sanitizing, we encourage our employees to wash and sanitize for at least seconds regularly, we also provide masks to our employees.



#32 Ryan M.

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Posted 23 April 2020 - 06:06 PM

There's been a lot of info posted already.  I suggest you develop your own SOP based on the information provided, your facility, and your management commitment to the SOP.  It isn't that difficult to draft the SOP.  The difficulty is enforcing the SOP.

 

Mary,

 

Do you have an SOP written for the temp checks and mask.  If so could you provide me with a copy to look at?



#33 AC2018

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Posted 23 April 2020 - 06:24 PM

We have a nurse come in Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to take everyone's temperature prior to starting their shift. She is using a thermometer for your wrist (had no clue that was even a thing). If someone's temp. is elevated they will be sent home to monitor their symptoms and return on the next day that the nurse will be here before they can start work again. We just started this on Monday and so far so good.... 



#34 Julius256

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Posted 23 April 2020 - 08:28 PM

Currently we using a thermometer gun that is calibrated by our national standards body and all the employees are checked before they access the production areas and the limit is 37.7 Degrees Celsius and above so any one who has a higher temperature is told to go for medical check up and other signs such as flu and cough the employees are told to immediately go for medical check up.



#35 Forstationve

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 09:40 AM

Please take security and avoid panic. Couple of thing you have to mange properly as hand synthesizer, mask and other thing keep in your office   



#36 micihay

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 11:23 AM

No, we are not taking temperatures as not all people will experience a high temperature but could still carry the virus. We are working on physical distancing, use of PPE, and asking staff to be vigilent about symptoms or to let us know if they were in contact someone who is unwell. 



#37 mahantesh.micro

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 11:30 AM

Hi all,

We are checking temperature of all employees and truck drivers during entry as well as exit. We are also suggesting all employees to not to take any medicines (especially  of fever, cough and cold) either in factory or at homes, coz if anyone takes these tablets, it is highly difficult to identify the person with symptoms of severe acute respiratory illness.



#38 Timwoodbag

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 02:39 PM

That would be a good alternative, but our company unfortunately had to furlough a lot of our office staff and I can't imagine our existing staff would want to take on additional timeclock and attendance responsibilites manually with no pay upgrade :(

 

We are in crazy times (pun intended) 

 

Wait I get a new responsibility every week, and never as simple as writing down a persons name if they are late....I'm confused, there is no additional responsibilities, they just need to write it down on a piece of paper instead of touching the timeclock.  

 

I'm supposed to demand a raise for this?  Trust me no front-line bonuses over here either....



#39 crystalbee

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 03:38 PM

Wait I get a new responsibility every week, and never as simple as writing down a persons name if they are late....I'm confused, there is no additional responsibilities, they just need to write it down on a piece of paper instead of touching the timeclock.  

 

I'm supposed to demand a raise for this?  Trust me no front-line bonuses over here either....

 

Sorry to hear about that Timwoodbag. That's great that writing it down on a sheet of paper works for you, however that wouldn't work in our facility. 



#40 Xoinks

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 12:57 PM

For anyone doing temperature monitoring of employees at their facility (typically upon entry) - 

 

1)  What kind of thermometer are you using?

2)  Do you have any kind of confirmation process if someone is reading high?

3)  What are your limits for sending a person home?

 

Our situation - our thermometer is a "Oral Equivalent" forehead thermometer.  We have two of them, and due to the nature of thermometers - they have a +/- .5F reading.  (Thermoworks - Wand)

 

These are specifically set up as oral equivalent - so they take a reading, adjust based on whatever metric was designed.  (So if the forehead reads 97F, the thermometer recognizes that 97 forehead means 98 oral, so it displays 98.  Or that's the idea.)  meaning I don't really have a way to check calibration on them.  They're brand new as of 2 weeks ago, and both are reading close to one another. 

 

So far, for 2 weeks, it's gone swimmingly.  We had set our limit at "Above 100F, go home" - with a small flow chart.  If the person has any symptoms of illness, definitely go home. (Regardless of temp.)  If no signs of illness, but other circumstances - such as just walked to work, etc. - give them a chance to rest, then check again.  (Officially we know 100.3 is the cut off for 'fever', we were trying to take into account the variance on the thermometer some)  No one has come in with a fever, no one has been home sick, etc.  

 

And then today we hit the thing I feared was eventually coming.  A person at 100.2.  So checked with the other forehead thermometer, 99.5. (Same brand)  Then check again, 100.1.   Other one, 99.3-99.8.  Ultimately I grabbed a probe thermometer that I'm able to check calibration, washed and disinfected it, and the person's oral temp on that came in at 98.   (I know, right?)   We decided to let the person punch in, they have a mask on, and we will check a few more times today and monitor for any changes in symptoms. 

 

We have about 80 people in our facility, so it's not like I have a small sample size with the forehead thermometer.  I did the oral equivalency test on myself (Calibrated probe versus forehead) and they were within 0.3F of one another. 

 

I should clarify - we are in a county with a very high rate of increase of coronavirus, so we have reason to be especially cautious.  

 

I'm planning to try reaching out to our local health department to get some clarification, but wanted to see if anyone would like to share how they handle borderline temperatures.   Or maybe if they've found any guidance online for situations like that.  

 

It'd be so much easier if it were a clear "102F" reading.  No questions.  Don't pass Go, don't collect $200, etc.  Thanks in advance!


Edited by Charles.C, 22 May 2020 - 05:25 AM.
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#41 TimG

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 02:25 PM

Good morning Xoinks. First, since this whole COVID-19 situation is completely unprecedented and new, lets take a step back and try to find similar with what we're used to dealing with in Quality departments.

It sounds like you had system in place, and then questioned it when a threshold was hit. That means you probably don't trust your testing devices to have the level of accuracy required (this is just the consensus I get from how you describe them).

I have a few questions:

  • Is this process written down in an SOP of any kind? No, I would make that a priority.
  • If so, does the SOP give escalation options (such as using the more accurate oral to verify), or is it written >100 send home? If so, follow it.

That being said, I don't think there is anything wrong with using the more accurate measuring device as a final decision maker. Make sure you write it out in your procedure and you're golden for the next time. 


Edited by Charles.C, 22 May 2020 - 05:25 AM.
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#42 Xoinks

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 02:46 PM

Good morning Xoinks. First, since this whole COVID-19 situation is completely unprecedented and new, lets take a step back and try to find similar with what we're used to dealing with in Quality departments.

It sounds like you had system in place, and then questioned it when a threshold was hit. That means you probably don't trust your testing devices to have the level of accuracy required (this is just the consensus I get from how you describe them).

I have a few questions:

  • Is this process written down in an SOP of any kind? No, I would make that a priority.
  • If so, does the SOP give escalation options (such as using the more accurate oral to verify), or is it written >100 send home? If so, follow it.

That being said, I don't think there is anything wrong with using the more accurate measuring device as a final decision maker. Make sure you write it out in your procedure and you're golden for the next time. 

 

Tim - 

  Thank you for your thoughts and your well-thought out answer.  I think you hit the nail on the head across the board.  As you said, it's unprecedented and taking employee temperatures isn't something I'm readily accustomed with the ins and outs - and I certainly don't want to impact people's livelihoods without a justified reason.   

 

Your rational process makes sense, and I'll make sure to get a formalized Work instruction in place.  I think the calibrated oral thermometer is giving me peace of mind - I hadn't considered it before, which I think is a good reminder to work through the process flow (and risk assessment) of each new procedure implemented. 

 

Thanks Tim!


Edited by Charles.C, 22 May 2020 - 05:26 AM.
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#43 Timwoodbag

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 03:33 PM

99.4 on our contact-free forehead thermometer and you get sent home immediately.  This is what the Family First Coronavirus Response Act is for, you still pay that employee for the day, no livelihood affected, and you follow up with symptom checks later that night or the next morning.  No progression of symptoms, no tylenol, no fever the next day, let them work again.  If they are in pain or feel their fever still and need tylenol, they are not allowed back, if they need it that bad then they are sick, pandemic or not they have to stay home, but this time they get paid.  


Edited by Charles.C, 22 May 2020 - 05:26 AM.
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#44 SQFconsultant

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 04:01 PM

following.


Edited by Charles.C, 22 May 2020 - 05:26 AM.
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Kind regards,
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#45 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 04:23 PM

The exact same situation arises when your HACCP CCP's come in at borderline. Classic comparable example is incoming raw milk tanker is supposed to be at 6ºC or lower. But you have one supplier that frequently comes in at 5.9.

 

One day it comes in at 6.1. The tech freaks out and decides to double check with a different thermometer (nevermind that you don't do this when the result is good, equipment is only "broken" when it gives us results we don't want). But today even that fails you. Now you're in a position to tell management you want to dump the whole tanker of milk because of 0.1 degrees, technically within the margin of error for your thermometer!

 

However, your HACCP plan has a CCP, and you have a defined corrective action of "dump the tank". But if it's going to be pasteurized, is that scientific? Was 6ºC a magical number? Of course not. 5.9 would be safer, 6.1 would be less safe. But it's not a magic tipping point from unsafe to safe.

 

There's no point in setting a limit you are going to ignore just like there's no point testing your product for pathogens if you're going to ship it anyway. My recommendation would be the same as always when people don't know what to do with "borderline" results, set up a CCP that you actually intend to follow (without playing the let's try a different instrument game), and set up a "yellow zone" for "investigation" that includes all the values you know you intend to release anyway, but you will at least take corrective actions to prevent future incidents.

 

Your mask response kind of does that, so decide what the number actually is for you to send people home. Your tools aren't always going to be super precise and repeatable, and frankly, temperature checks aren't going to be precise either. So work with the tools you have. Remember, temperature checks are somewhat useful in keeping sick employees out, but maybe just as importantly they're a little bit of security theater to help other employees see you're taking action to keep them safe.


Edited by Charles.C, 22 May 2020 - 05:27 AM.
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#46 FSQA

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 06:39 PM

Just monitor the employee at this time. As mentioned above, temperature checks aren't going to be precise.

This link might be helpful: https://www.cdc.gov/...y-practices.pdf


Edited by Charles.C, 22 May 2020 - 05:27 AM.
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#47 Timwoodbag

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 08:09 PM

It is more a liability/OSHA concern.  If an employee tests over your set limit, and then you let them work, and a bunch of people get sick, then you have in house evidence that you allowed a sick employee to work.  Not acceptable, even if your limit was not officially correct to begin with.   


Edited by Charles.C, 22 May 2020 - 05:27 AM.
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#48 Ryan M.

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 08:41 PM

Consider the risk with the location you are in with a high rate of COVID; you want to be especially conservative on the temperature and deciding to allow employees in or send them home.

 

We are a bit more conservative in our limit at 99.5oF.  If someone is 99.6oF they rest and then check again.  If still high they are sent away regardless.  It is too much of a risk to the rest of the persons to even deal with.

 

Keep in mind those forehead thermometers, indirect contact, require a very specific distance from the forehead to read correctly.  With our thermometers we had to retrain the persons taking the temperatures because they were holding them at different distances from the forehead.


Edited by Charles.C, 22 May 2020 - 05:27 AM.
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#49 Tresa

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Posted 15 May 2020 - 01:23 PM

I am not sure if my question is related to the topic or not. but I would like to understand if an employee work in a hot area like ovens, does the heat affected the body temperature to read as fever by thermal camera?


Edited by Charles.C, 22 May 2020 - 05:27 AM.
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#50 Timwoodbag

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Posted 15 May 2020 - 01:31 PM

I am not sure if my question is related to the topic or not. but I would like to understand if an employee work in a hot area like ovens, does the heat affected the body temperature to read as fever by thermal camera?

 

Yes body heat can rise significantly while working in a hot area, especially in a dehydrated employee not sweating properly (heat stroke).  Be sure to read any literature supplied by the manufacturer of your device/cameras.  I have no experience with thermal cameras, but if someone naturally rests at 98.5 it should be expected to rise during their shift.

 

https://www.mayoclin...se/art-20048167


Edited by Charles.C, 22 May 2020 - 05:28 AM.
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