Coronavirus: Firm installs cameras to read temperatures

A firm in Muir of Ord has placed the cameras in its reception area to screen visitors and staff as they enter the premises.

Coronavirus: Firm installs cameras to read temperatures
Camera: Firm takes measures to check temperatures.

A firm in the Highlands has become the first in Scotland to install hi-tech cameras which read people’s temperatures in a bid to protect its workforce from coronavirus.

SGL Carbon in Muir of Ord has placed the cameras in its reception area to screen visitors and staff as they enter the premises.

Anyone with a temperature above the average of 37.5 degrees is asked to vacate the building in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. A high temperature is one of the recognised symptoms of Covid-19.

The technology uses two cameras, one which captures a traditional image and the other a thermal image to show how hot someone’s temperature is – the cameras are said to be accurate to within half a degree.

The firm manufactures carbon fibre components for a number of industries including wind power, aerospace and healthcare and employs around 200 staff.

Stephen Easton of SGL Carbon said “It allows us to maintain social distancing and can measure up to three metres away, plus or minus half a degree.

“We wanted to install it to give our staff a level of confidence that we are doing everything we possibly can, and it’s probably one of the few pro-active measures that a company can take to screen people before they even set foot on site.”

The cameras were installed by Inverness firm IRN Security who have just taken delivery of them into the UK.

IRN’s Kenny Smith said: “Covid-19 is crippling the whole of the UK and not just the NHS but there are so many industries that need to keep working, such as manufacturing and also travel.

“We recognised that thermal imaging cameras can help. The technology arrived in the UK last week and we have installed it at SGL Carbon, which is the first company in Scotland to adopt it.

“There are two cameras; a thermal lens and also a normal lens to take the CCTV footage. The combination of the two will detect the temperature of anyone coming into the building.

“We set the alarms on the camera so anything over 37.5 degrees will cause an audible and visual alarm and will show up on a screen and from there the company can prohibit entrance to a site. You can also connect it to turnstiles, gates or barriers, to protect not only your staff but also visitors.”

Mr Smith said the technology developed in China and is commonplace across the country as a result of coronavirus.

He added interest has been expressed in installing the cameras by the NHS and in the fields of manufacturing and travel.

More on