Safety group offers tips to minimize effects of flu on workers, business
As the H1N1 virus is reported throughout the country, small businesses can be susceptible to the negative economic impacts of a flu pandemic. According to the ASSE, employee education and contingency planning will help offset business losses and help minimize disruption to business activities; protect employees' health; and limit the negative impact to the community, economy and society.
Although there is no "one size fits all" solution, the ASSE suggested business leaders discuss the H1N1 flu with their safety and health professionals and:
- Encourage employees to get vaccinated.
- Communicate information about the symptoms of flu illness to employees.
- Adopt practices that require sick employees to stay home.
- Encourage the practice of good hand hygiene. This includes washing hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water for a minimum of 15 seconds.
- Identify a workplace coordinator or committee to deal with H1N1 flu issues.
- Prepare business continuity plans. It is important to know how to maintain operations with significant absenteeism in your company.
OSHA provides guidance.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a series of fact sheets to inform employers and workers about ways to reduce the risk of exposure. The fact sheets for health care workers contain additional precautions.
Read more at the WORKERSCOMP ForumTM homepage.
January 7, 2010
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