The Importance of Daily Employee Health Checks
As employers around North America begin to reopen and ask employees to return to work, many are deciding to implement some type of employee health screening to ensure they keep workplaces safe. The addition of employee health checks are becoming a reality for many businesses and are an important part of a comprehensive return-to-work strategy.
If you are thinking about requiring employees and visitors to conduct health checks before entering your workplace, there are many things to consider to ensure policies are fair, employee and visitor privacy is secure, and procedures are in place to deal with potential Coronavirus exposure.
Why are Daily Employee Health Checks Important?
Employers who are implementing health checks for their employees should not just be doing so for positive PR or optics. Conducting daily health screenings is one of the only ways employers can actively track potential exposure.
Asking employees to answer screening questions before entering their workplace will not completely eliminate COVID-19 risk but it is an important way to show employees you take their health seriously.
By conducting employee and visitor health screenings, employers also have a daily list of people who have been screened and who are entering and exiting the workplace. In the case of possible exposure or a positive COVID-19 test, it’s easier for employers to track who may have been in contact and who must be notified.
Workplaces Should Have all Necessary Safeguards In Place
Employee and visitor health checks should only be one part of an organization’s Coronavirus health and safety plan. This should be combined with detailed guidelines and policies around employee distancing, mask requirements, hand washing, sanitizing procedures, and work from home practices.
Before implementing employee or visitor health checks employers should already have a detailed plan in place in the event an employee’s screening is flagged or there’s a potential Coronavirus exposure. This plan should also include details on any updated paid time off or sick leave policies and provide employees all the information they need on finding the right resources for COVID-19 testing, public health updates, and next steps if they are not able to return to work.
Employers Must Guarantee Privacy and Security of All Captured Health Information
It is every employer’s responsibility to ensure that all information gathered during health screenings are kept private and any electronic records are secure. Before conducting health checks employers must get consent to capture any health information for both employees and workplace visitors. Also, make sure you are taking into consideration local and federal laws that may prohibit the type of health questions you can ask employees and if your workplace meets the requirements for additional health screening.
Employee and visitor health checks may become the norm for a variety of industries for the foreseeable future. If you are looking to start a health screening process make sure to put the time in now to create a fair and sustainable process that can fit into your workday routine for months to come.