Safe Work Australia confirmed that all workers in Australia, regardless of their occupation or how they are engaged, have the right to a healthy and safe working environment even throughout the public health emergency presented by COVID-19.

While rigorous social distancing and frequent handwashing are the most cited frontline defenses against COVID-19 transmission in the workplace, CoolGard adds an extra dimension to workplace safety and the protection of public health through digital automation and real-time monitoring.

The ‘hierarchy of appropriate controls’ recommended by SFA

According to the Safe Work Australia (SFA) website: “Businesses and workers must actively control against the transmission of COVID-19 while at work… including considering the application of a hierarchy of appropriate controls where relevant.” Yet, at the time of publication, SFA had no suggestions to offer workplace managers beyond the continuing observance of government guidelines and recommendations.

For many businesses and their customers, precautions like social distancing and hand-washing do little to restore public confidence when COVID-19 cluster-outbreaks have occurred through staff continuing to work at sites that should be among the most safety-conscious, such as aged care facilities. To bring the world back to ‘normal’, as much as possible under ongoing pandemic conditions, something more had to be done. This situation called the Australian developers of CoolGard into immediate action. Overnight investment and around-the-clock application of development resources delivered CoolGard as a commercial release in early May 2020, available globally.

CoolGard for greater confidence in workplace health and safety 

CoolGard is specifically developed to meet workplace health and safety requirements in Australia and throughout the world with its built-in ‘hierarchy of appropriate controls’ configurable to suit any management structure across any number of workplace sites in any location.

Within seconds, employees are automatically identified and screened by the wall-mounted CoolGard unit. Any detected symptoms, such as an elevation in body temperature, are silently notified to the employee. Alerts are automatically sent to their site supervisors and any off-site managers. Head-office and area managers can monitor the health and safety indicators at any number of sites from one secure dashboard that they can access on desktop or mobile devices. Thus, CoolGard provides the ‘hierarchy of appropriate controls’ recommended by Australia’s governing authority on workplace safety and occupational health and safety authorities in many other countries.

Maintaining workplace vigilance without causing undue alarm

Of course, symptoms such as a sore throat or elevated body temperature do not necessarily mean that an employee is carrying COVID-19, influenza, or any other transmissible disease. Similar symptoms can be caused by bacterial infections, exposure to irritants, and many other factors. Early detection of suspicious symptoms is key to early medical assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of the cause. When transmissible diseases like COVID-19 and influenza have been dismissed as critical risk factors, the employee may be allowed to resume work at no risk to themselves or others in the workplace.

However, when early detection of symptoms by CoolGard leads to early identification of a risk to public health through the transmission of COVID-19 or influenza, the potential for another workplace-related outbreak is greatly reduced. Employees can be checked by CoolGard at the start of each shift, or as frequently as required by individual organizational policies. Workplaces that present a greater situational risk to public health may elect to have employees automatically checked by CoolGard several times during each shift.