Thermal screening, a solution to worker safety amid COVID-19?

One manufacturer shares how they found the right fit

Thermal screening, a solution to worker safety amid COVID-19?
“The biggest thing for me was the sense of reassurance that the employees had.”

How to ensure compliance whilst also keeping workers safe and business running? This has been one of the biggest concerns for manufacturers everywhere – and was the case for Santa Monica Seafood.

The manufacturer has a number of facilities around the U.S., including California. They have hundreds of workers. Being classed as an essential business, Santa Monica Seafood was able to continue operating during the pandemic.

“Back in the middle of March, when we went into the first lockdown […] our first thought was to try and put as many barriers as possible against the virus getting in,” says David Richardson, Vice President of Innovation and Compliance at Santa Monica Seafood. “The biggest way we felt we could do that was to have a very effective screening process for employees when they came to work.”

Part of this screening process was to implement temperature checks.

“We wanted something that was standard and very objective, and where possible, could remove the human element of inconsistency,” says Richardson.

Thermal screening

There are a number of ways businesses can test workers, one method that is more and more popular is thermal screening.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that scientific studies support the notion that certain thermal imaging systems can be used to measure surface skin temperature. These systems use an infrared thermal camera and, when used correctly, can accurately measure someone’s surface skin temperature.

The advantage of thermal screening is that the person handling the screening does not need to be physically close to be person being evaluated, significantly reducing contamination risk, which is why is has become such a popular solution amid the threat of COVID-19.

Seek Thermal

Richardson and Santa Monica Seafood chose Seek Thermal’s Seek Scan temperature screening solution.

Seek Thermal provider of thermal imaging sensors and products. Initially, the company’s offering was primarily focused on firefighting, law enforcement and commercial trades applications. Seek Thermal has since expanded its coverage to also offer thermal temperature screening.

Richardson says that one of the advantages of the Seek Scan system is that it makes things as objective and consistent as possible. Furthermore, having these temperature checks done as much as possibly by a piece of equipment rather than a person reduces health risks.

“When we got the first unit […] and started putting it to use, even in the test phase it was clear to us that it was definitely the right way to go,” says Richardson.

“The biggest thing for me was the sense of reassurance that the employees had,” Richardson says. “They had some level of confidence when they were coming into work that we deployed technology and equipment that really made a difference in terms of their confidence about the health and wellbeing of their colleagues.”

He also highlights the rapidness of the screening (which helps avoid congestion around entrances as workers wait to be screened), their customer service and the ease with which they themselves could install the equipment.

Find out more about Seek Thermal here (and on YouTube here).