Workplaces across the world are attempting to return to some semblance of normality after the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has infected more than seven million individuals, and tragically taken the lives of 400,000 citizens. Social distancing measures, desk and counter shields, personnel management kiosks, and new PPE policies are just a few measures being taken by companies looking to protect both their employees and customers.
While it’s true that a multi-pronged approach is best in ensuring a safe working environment, personnel management kiosks represent perhaps the best first line of defence. But how do they work precisely?
What Are Temperature-Checking Personnel Management Kiosks?
Personnel kiosks with body temperature monitoring and facial recognition technology can be used in a variety of settings to ensure the health of everyone within that specific building. These non-contact, fully-automated kiosks can read the temperature of an individual standing in front of the device within one second, identifying those with a high and abnormal temperature.
While these devices are not medical devices and cannot confirm whether an individual has COVID-19 or another virus, it’s been widely accepted by leading health bodies such as the CDC and the NHS that high temperature (fever) is one the most common symptoms associated with the novel coronavirus. By denying entry to those with high temperatures, business owners can protect the health security of their workplace while those with a high-temperature self-isolate and wait for a diagnosis.
In the future when COVID-19 is much less prevalent, many organisations may continue to check temperatures as standard practice, as an abnormal temperature is a symptom of general illness and other viruses. It may become the norm for organisations to take a stronger position on preventing illness spreading in the workplace, even if the illnesses are lower risk such as the common flu.
Given the capability of personnel management kiosks, what are some of the most compelling use cases and locations for these advanced screening devices?
5 Ways to Use Personnel Management Kiosks
While personnel management kiosks may only form part of a broader set of measures to ensure safety within the workplace, they provide the best method for preventing those who are unknowingly carrying the virus into your workplace. With that in mind, let’s take a look at five of the most pertinent uses of this advanced technological solution.
1. Office Locations and Business Centres
While many businesses have made the transition to working from home for an extended period, for other companies, working in the office is a necessity. For example, some businesses that work with sensitive data are not permitted to implement work from home policies.
Indoor working presents one of the biggest threats in terms of the continued spread of the virus. This is because COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) can survive outside of the body for up to 72 hours on hard surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel. Therefore, it makes sense to place at least one personnel management kiosk at the entrance to screen out employees who are displaying a high temperature. Given the contagiousness of the virus, it would only take one employee to infect an entire office environment.
2. Healthcare Settings
Those who’re feeling unwell are likely to seek medical assistance in locations such as doctor’s surgeries and local clinics. However, given the threat posed by an infectious individual, it makes sense to identify those that represent the most significant risk to those in the waiting room.
Once again, placed at the entrance, a personnel management kiosk can prevent both staff members and patients seeking medical attention from putting the lives of others at risk. When you consider that a great deal of those that visit healthcare settings are categorised as immunosuppressed, the gravity of maintaining the integrity of a healthcare setting becomes even more apparent.
3. Educational Establishments
Personnel management kiosks could prove invaluable in many education settings including schools, nurseries, colleges and universities. However, the benefit of using temperature scanning technology does change depending on the phase of education, mainly due to the age of students.
Many leading authorities have established that the risk COVID-19 poses to school-age children is infinitesimal. For instance, Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter at the University of Cambridge estimates that the risk to children of catching and then dying from coronavirus is one in 5.3 million.
However, what must not be underestimated is their ability to act as carriers. Given their daily close proximity to teachers and staff, they could inadvertently pose a genuine threat to the health of educational personnel. By checking the temperature of both staff members and pupils, educational institutions safeguard their staff members, while ensuring employee levels are maintained at levels necessary to run their school or college safely.
4. Industrial Premises, Warehouses and Factories
While those work settings with larger surface areas are better positioned to implement improved health and safety policies, they have significantly more shared high-touch-points than many traditional workplaces. What’s more, these environments frequently welcome outside contractors who visit a number of different workplaces frequently. Facility managers often cite the sheer number of employees and visitors as a reason to forego temperature checking technology.
However, given that the body temperature kiosks can check one employee or outside contractor every few seconds, even large units (such as distribution centres) with thousands of staff members can carry out temperature checks without having a serious impact on efficiency and access control. Moreover, with a database capacity of 30,000 faces, this solution can hold a database of 30,000 employees.
Those working in the transportation industry have been affected adversely by the outbreak. Bus drivers in London and transit workers in the USA have died in disproportionate numbers. Train stations, bus hubs, and airports have all become dangerous breeding grounds for the virus, which is then subsequently spread by those who board transport vehicles to another destination.
Temperature detection technology could be used to check employees before the start of their shift, where they could come into contact with thousands of people. Passengers could also be vetted as they board or enter gates/platforms through ticket checks or turnstiles. Businesses and public transport departments can add a layer of protection to their staff, and better protect the general public by refusing travel to those with a high temperature. These kiosks can additionally provide an alert to individuals instructing them to wear a mask, which could be really helpful as certain countries such as England enforce wearing masks on public transport.
While the effort to flatten the curve and eradicate the spread of the virus continues, personnel management kiosks equipped with a temperature sensor and facial recognition technology can lead the way when it comes to improving workplace safety. By isolating and removing incidences of abnormal temperatures, business owners and facility managers can better protect their employees while ensuring operations can continue.