Thu 4 Jun 2020
5 things Agora’s Temperature Screening Solutions help security operators do differently, post COVID-19
Security operator roles will be changed – probably for the foreseeable future – to cope with the new COVID-19 guidelines. In this new unfamiliar role, they need the tools to help them feel confident. Their own safety, as well as the organization’s, needs to be key.
Depending on where you live, the workforce in your environment will be expected to make gradual steps for returning to work over the coming weeks and months. How does this look for your security team? Will arrivals and exits be staggered? Will certain teams return before others? What will the expectations be when identifying those who are healthy and those who are not?
With tools such as Agora’s Temperature Screening Solutions, businesses can get organized now, ahead of workers returning to their offices. In this post we speak to Agora International Business Development Manager, Bernardo Motta, who says these five things will change once workspaces start to fill up again – and businesses need to be prepared.
1. To be safely positioned next to entrances
Instead of only being based in a control room, or patrolling an environment, security guards will also need to be stationed next to entrance points from now on. This puts them ‘on the ground’ at an essential position, but also puts them at greater risk. Bernardo Motta explains how this might look in many organizations:
In many sites, where there were metal detectors or X-ray machines before, now you'll put a guard with a thermal kit: a camera unit and a black body, each on its own tripod.
There are currently kiosk solutions being designed so that people can interact more safely, such as IndigoKiosk AI. This solution helps you manage how many people are in your environment to ensure social distancing and appropriate use of PPE. Measures will need to be put in place to safely enter the building, and Bernardo Motta suggests how to go about this:
You will have to create your checkpoint with stripes on the floor to create a walking corridor. There is an L-shape that is advised so people can do a 90-degree turn just to face the camera and do one screening at a time.
The security officer’s job is about to become more complex and demanding, but with the right equipment and enough time to fulfil their tasks, there’s no reason why a safe environment shouldn’t be ensured for everyone.
2. To screen people, one by one, as they enter a site
Bernardo Motta warns against solutions that offer screenings of multiple people at once. Often these results aren’t as accurate: for the best results, temperature screenings must be done on an individual basis. As he has found in his research:
There are companies out there selling cameras that can catch a five-meter or 10-meter radius or can scan multiple people at once. This is the wrong way to do it. Although the camera could work, the process has to be individual.
The kit security guards need to perform their new vital tasks includes three items: a black body, a thermal camera and the Agora software set-up. This solution not only offers temperature recording functionality, but also provides officers with a list of procedures to follow in case of a raised temperature reading. Bernardo Motta says:
Businesses could buy other temperature screening cameras, but without the Agora software they are going to miss the procedures, intelligence and AI part.
Arm your security team with the tools they need to safely welcome people back to your site, with minimal room for error or risk.
3. To use unfamiliar screening software to read temperatures
It’s unlikely that security guards will have had to screen people for their temperature before. This new responsibility might seem like a lot of pressure for them at the start. Bernardo Motta explains how this necessitates a formal process for security professionals to follow:
Anything of this nature is usually something that we leave to the experts. But all of a sudden we've got to be good at doing our best in a setting that would normally be managed by medical staff. People at the door are not nurses; they are just following a process on screen. So that process has to be clear and easy-to-follow.
If temperatures are read incorrectly, or aren’t stored for reporting purposes, this could lead to problems later on. Bernardo explains why simply buying a thermal camera on its own might still let you down:
If you just buy the camera, you are on your own. The camera will give you a log of temperatures – but then what do you do with that list? It would be your problem to record and report them. And what if the system throws an error saying it is not properly calibrated: what do you do next?
You need dependable, reliable, automated systems to help with glitches and guide your security team through the process, step-by-step. Agora Temperature Screening Solutions enable you to break down temperature readings across every entrance at your site:
The software looks at every site you’ve recorded temperatures, sums up the numbers and tells you how many you’ve done within a date range, which you can set yourself. It tells you how many people you measured with normal and high skin temperatures. You can then choose a particular camera or site and see what the numbers are compared to other areas.
4. To instigate protocols for people with raised temperatures
Strict protocols, such as escorting and isolating people who have a high-temperature reading, will need to be enforced by security operators. Bernardo Motta outlines how your process might look:
You might provide a person that tests positive for high skin temperature with a facial mask and disinfectant products, or offer to help get the person home. It all depends on your process.
With so many new protocols to remember, operators need clear, repeatable guidance to help them get people into the building safely. The Agora software helps you do this by taking your own pre-populated instructions, and showing you the next steps to take on screen:
When you ask someone with a high temperature to wait for a second screening, you can postpone the alert in Agora for an hour or half an hour. After that time, the alarm comes back to the forefront and the Agora operator knows it’s time to go and check the person’s temperature again.
In the stress of the moment, it can be easy to forget what the next step should be, so having an automated list of procedures on screen will help your security team deliver a consistent approach, no matter who is working that day, or how confident they feel with this new role. Depending on your own internal rules, you can tailor the steps you input to Agora to match your organization's needs:
You are there to help. So, when faced with someone that is screened positive for a high temperature you might offer to call a family member or friend, and then Agora asks you, "Is someone coming to pick the person up?" If you answer yes, you escort the customer to a waiting area. If not, and they’re having trouble getting home, you will answer "No”. Then you’ll have a back-up action: you call in the on-site medical team or an ambulance if needs be.
5. To regularly update security systems, according to government guidelines
With government guidelines differing between countries and states, your solution needs to be highly customizable. Not only that, but WHO advice, and individual government advice is constantly evolving, so your workflows need to easily adapt to new requirements. Bernardo Motta says this was a key consideration when creating the Agora solution:
Different governments and sectors are telling everybody different information at the moment. What might be a protocol in Portugal is going to be different to the UK and different again in the US. So it’s got to be easy to frequently change those workflows if you are using a solution that is not designed for that.
It should be a simple procedure-configuration task, not something that will throw further worry and doubt over an already pressured role. Processes are going to be really different when workspaces and entertainment sites reopen – and that's where Agora helps a lot:
The software can be adapted by the head of security; he can have the government bulletin open on one webpage, Agora open on the other side of the screen, and he can configure Agora to have a one-to-one match between official guidelines and the Agora workflows.
Are your existing systems fit for this new challenge? You may have bought one or more temperature screening products, but did you also buy the management software that deploys custom standard procedures, creates reports and uses business intelligence to better understand your data? Management will need to show they’re taking every precaution at their site – and Agora offers this peace of mind.