Thermal cameras are already being used on a number of O’Rourke sites including HS2 and Hinkley Point C and the firm’s manufacturing facility Explore Industrial Park.
The cameras have been developed by subsidiary Select Plant and are installed into purpose built modular units for use at site entrances.
For offices they are ceiling mounted in access points to make temperature checking a quick and easy part of arriving to work.
Individuals stand in view of a camera with a slight pause. Skin temperature is measured within a second, with a green light indicating that the person is within normal range.
An audible alert together with an automatic notification to the system’s secure administrator is triggered where a temperature is above the upper limit.
Steve Paskins, Laing O’Rourke’s operation leader on the HS2 enabling works joint venture said: “There is no replacement for good cleanliness and social distancing rigour but we’ve found that the temperature checking units work quickly and accurately, and while the system cannot detect if coronavirus is present, their ability to pick up a fever – one of the main symptoms of COVID-19 gives us, everyone on site, as well as their families assurance that colleagues have all been checked before entering the project.
“The feedback has been good, and the technology is an important element within our armoury.”
The units are now being rolled out in a phased sequence to a number of projects, with Royal Liverpool Hospital, Brighton 3Ts, Whiteleys, Soho Place and Olympia installing them in the coming weeks.
The thermal screening ‘plug and play’ modular units will also be available for hire to other contractors.