Businesses are questioning the reliability of the measurement results obtained from forehead infrared thermometers being used in South Africa, owing to several factors influencing the accuracy of the measurement results, says the National Metrology Institute of South Africa (Nmisa).
Nmisa says factors that potentially influence the results include the type of instrument used, the accuracy of the thermometer (obtained through calibration), the measurement procedure followed, ambient conditions and the like.
It is for this reason that Nmisa has established a platform where a team of experts, who represent the relevant public entities as well as private calibration laboratories, are able to review and provide reliable responses to topical temperature screening related questions.
Infrared forehead thermometers are widely used to screen people for high fever, one of the symptoms of Covid-19, to identify people that may be infected, thereby reducing the risk of spreading the virus in workplaces, schools and public areas.
Mandated by the Measurement Units and Measurement Standards Act, 2006, Nmisa provides for the accuracy and international recognition of local measurement results.
This enables trade, component manufacturing, legal acceptance of measurement results for law enforcement, accurate measurement in environment and safety, and is crucial for healthcare.
Nmisa is part of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition’s group of technical infrastructure institutes, which also include the South African Bureau of Standards, the National Regulator for Compulsory Specification and the South African National Accreditation System, that together provide for confidence in local goods and products and allow for successful prosecution in cases of noncompliance.