Screening Visitors in your workplace for COVID-19
As employers develop their return to work plans and consider the path back to the office, the first step is to ensure their health and safety. While employees are the priority, it's essential to think through how to screen your visitors for COVID-19 so that they are included in your screening plan.
While some businesses will move forward without allowing visitors into the workplace, many must consider visitors to reopen appropriately. Depending on your organization's needs, an extensive range of screening scenarios may work for you. All employers must ensure they include visitors in their return to work plan and communicate that plan with all workers.
What are Your COVID-19 Screening Requirements?
The goal of creating a plan for managing visitors is to protect your workforce from COVID-19 exposure. Taking proactive actions helps keep everyone protected and gives employers a complete record to look back on a specific COVID-19 test result.
Reasonably, your business only sees a few guests a week and will require them to wear masks, social distance and sign in when arriving. Suppose your company has a higher level of visitors or an increased risk of close physical contact. If that's the case, a screening questionnaire and temperature check should be required before a visitor can enter your business.
It's essential to think about what level of screening makes sense and what will keep employees protected. After all, this is personal information that you're collecting, and the less you collect, the better. Once you've decided on what you will need from your visitors, you can communicate your policy and open your doors confidently.
Details to Consider When Screening a Visitor
When you are planning your visitor screening procedures, here are some factors to consider:
- Ensure you screen visitors, while maintaining physical distancing, if possible. Proactive screening questionnaires help assess symptoms before it's too late, and they are working alongside your staff. Increase efficiency by ensuring you have all of the required information you need before a visitor arrives. Screening visitors also allows you to communicate your policy requirements well in advance while maintaining social distancing requirements. Pre-screening also enables you to get sign-off for all legal messaging about data collection, privacy, tracing procedures before accepting them into your workplace.
- Develop and communicate your plan, so everyone involved is aware of screening requirements. If you choose not to conduct early screening, how will you be communicating your visitor policies to the public? Whose responsibility is it to conduct screening on-site and enforce your policy requirements with your visitors? Communicate these details and be crystal clear with your intent so that your staff and visitors understand them.
- Gain Information for Potential Contact Tracing. Along with the necessary visitor details of name, email, and phone number, make sure to gather a full detailed record of whom your visitors came into close contact with in case of future contact tracing. COVID-19 team member and visitor screening applications have made this easy by allowing your workers to easily report their symptoms and deliver screening results while flagging risk increases.
- Determine your response for non-compliant visitors. There may be visitors who choose not to follow your screening procedures. Make sure you are transparent with employees on what to do in these cases.
Screening and Exposure Prevention Methods
Organizations must take significant steps to prepare workers for re-entry into the workforce and prepare and adapt the workplace itself in readiness, as infections are still widespread throughout much of the world. Once workers return to work, critical actions are required to reduce potential exposure and limit the risk of a new outbreak.
- Mandatory masks
- Reconfiguring workplaces for social distancing
- Limited visitor hours and locations within the workplace
- Pre-checks and location audits
- Pre-screening staff and visitors
- PPE management procedures
- Change management system
- Mandatory daily health screenings
- Workforce training for staff and new visitors
- Enhanced building access
- Remote management
- Psychological safety
If you are looking for expert help on COVID-19 employee self-assessments as required for compliance, get in touch with us to see how we can help.