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rs10  
#1 Posted : 19 November 2020 11:50:36(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
rs10

I put this on another thread but thought this may get more views -

A quick question folks?  Would you say introducing a Covid antigen testing in the workplace is reasonable, where the purpose is to protect the health and safety of the workforce?  Or 'Covid secure' measures should be sufficient and therefore testing is not proportionate? If there are valid and legitimate reasons why an employee refuses to take the test an employer would be on 'risky' ground to take any action?

peter gotch  
#2 Posted : 19 November 2020 12:38:11(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

rs10

That's more than one Q!

Until there are tests whose results would be considered authoritative that could be done in addition to the existing guidelines on Covid testing, then doing the accepted tests is likely to detract from the already limited capacity available, thence skewing the populations at the top of the priority list.

On that basis guidance to employers is to provide Covid-secure workplaces. "Secure" is of course not an absolute but means "relatively safe".

If an employer were to try to enforce some other testing on their workforce, they would probably be on very dodgy ground.

P

thanks 1 user thanked peter gotch for this useful post.
rs10 on 19/11/2020(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#3 Posted : 19 November 2020 14:29:35(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Test valid soley at time taken (and within the limitations of accuracy of the chosen method), so between then and the results.......

Employers do not typically pay to test every employee for any other transmittable disease so why ths one in particular?

Workplace testing as a "precaution" is very obvioulsy far from proprtionate - if the risk was that significant then all work would be shut so need to test.

Roundtuit  
#4 Posted : 19 November 2020 14:29:35(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Test valid soley at time taken (and within the limitations of accuracy of the chosen method), so between then and the results.......

Employers do not typically pay to test every employee for any other transmittable disease so why ths one in particular?

Workplace testing as a "precaution" is very obvioulsy far from proprtionate - if the risk was that significant then all work would be shut so need to test.

craigroberts76  
#5 Posted : 20 November 2020 09:43:38(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
craigroberts76

we have introduced weekly testing in our office.  the tests are rated at 95% accurate but to us its worth the time and money as we cannot work from home, but if the virus gets into the core office then the impact on our business would be catastrophic.

Its all part of our covid secure working environment and its another step to help not only keep the office safe but our homes too by not taking it back.

thanks 2 users thanked craigroberts76 for this useful post.
stevedm on 20/11/2020(UTC), rs10 on 20/11/2020(UTC)
stevedm  
#6 Posted : 20 November 2020 10:57:17(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stevedm

ECDC guidance on antigen tests...

https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications-data/options-use-rapid-antigen-tests-covid-19-eueea-and-uk

stevedm  
#7 Posted : 20 November 2020 11:01:00(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stevedm

...just to add that the test should be adminstered by a healthcare professional and the results are confidential to the indivual...

rs10  
#8 Posted : 20 November 2020 12:43:07(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
rs10

Thanks to all for responding to my question.  In answer to some of the questions - the organisation is looking at the testing to keep the business operating as working from home is not operationally effective, a private testing company with PCR laboratory resources is one of the options based on-site to administer the covid antigen testing.  I guess the question to why the employer is looking at testing specifically for COVID is because of the impact it is causing locally, nationally and globally.

craigroberts76  
#9 Posted : 20 November 2020 13:15:16(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
craigroberts76

most of the home (office) test kits are exactly the same as the NHS home kit and are administered by the individual themselves whilst under the watch of myself as the H&S manager.  Results are required to be disclosed to myself and the office managers so that procedures for remote working or absence can be made.  If they were not available then the worker could say it was a neg test and continue to work in the office.

chris.packham  
#10 Posted : 20 November 2020 14:12:41(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris.packham

The question I have is what is the employer hoping to achieve with the testing? The test is merely a snapshot of the situation at the time the test is made. A test taken the next day could reveal a quite different picture. Given that most of those who will be tested will also have exposure away from the workplace someone who is negative today could be colonised by tomorrow (and in any case the swab test does not detect all possible colonisation with the virus) and whilst still asymptomatic be spreading the virus undetected. They may then lose the colonisation without becoming infected so that a further test would still show them as negative.

Testing is not an easy alternative to ensuring a high standard of management of potential transmission of the virus within the workplace. Bear in mind that a no time will anyone be able to state with any confidence whether there are one or more potential donors among the workforce nor who they are, so a prudent employer would surely assume any one of their employees might be a donor. The system in place should thus be one where everyone is directly involved in preventing the transmission of the virus assuming that anyone they come into contact with is a potential donor. How one develops a system that minises the transmission requires a detailed understanding of both direct and indirect transmission routes, whether these are to be found in their workplace and if so how they can be managed.

stevedm  
#11 Posted : 20 November 2020 15:45:57(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stevedm

In a low prevalence setting, rapid antigen tests will have a high NPV but a low PPV. Therefore, if used correctly, rapid antigen tests should be able to rule out a highly infectious case in such a setting. A negative test result may not require confirmation by RT-PCR, whereas a positive test will need immediate sampling for a confirmation by RT-PCR.

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