The Need for Thermal Cameras is Heating Up
By Network Manager Chris Thomas
As we begin to find our way back to a new normal, the safety and wellbeing of our team members and trade partners continue to be our priority. While returning to fully staffed jobsites and offices will not happen overnight, a great deal of care must be taken to keep our team members and trade partners safe each step of the way.
One such step we have taken has been the installation of thermal imaging cameras on our jobsites, along with our Columbia HQ and Northeast office. Harkins evaluated a variety of thermal imaging options and chose the Fotric 226b camera. Fotric is known for producing a high-quality camera that has become the standard for many construction companies across the country. The device utilizes an intelligent temperature calibration algorithm that automatically collects facial temperatures from different scenarios for self-learning. It adjusts the alarm threshold in real-time by adapting to changes in ambient temperature which helps prevent false positives from fluctuations in morning and evening temperatures.
These cameras employ facial recognition to detect elevated or abnormal body temperatures of up to ten people at a time from up to ten feet away. A built-in detection module uses Artificial Intelligence to automatically lock onto faces in the camera’s view for temperature measurement. It is also able to shield non-facial sources of high temperatures, such as a hot cup of coffee.
In addition to the camera, a laptop with the Fotric WLIR software is required. This software automatically counts the number of screened personnel, as well as the number of abnormal body temperature detections. Pictures of every screened person are saved on the laptop for later evaluation.
As a result of this new protocol, Harkins created a new position called Temperature Screener/Site Sanitizer. This person closely monitors each of the cameras that have been deployed to our jobsites and offices and is responsible for wiping down high-touch surfaces. Screeners are trained to use the software and protocols for handling personnel that trigger the alarm. This technology has enabled our teams to minimize exposure on our jobsites
and our offices to reduce potential contamination of COVID-19.
The thermal imaging cameras are just one important tool that we are utilizing to keep everyone safe as we continue steering our company back towards the life that we all remember from the not-so-distant past. We will continue to evaluate other options as necessary to uphold the high standards we are accustomed to.