Agencies issue annual precautions for workplaces
While specific strains for the 2011-12 flu season have not been identified, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are precautions that should be taken.
Flu season most commonly peaks in January or February but can begin earlier and extend into May, the CDC said. Employers should be concerned about pandemic flu, which can occur at any time and may be mild, moderate, or severe.
Workers who may be especially at risk include those in health care settings, especially if they provide direct patient care or come in contact with aerosol-generating procedures or specimen analysis. The CDC publishes specific guidelines for protecting health care workers.
For general workplaces, the CDC recommends the following measures:
- Encourage workers to get a seasonal flu vaccine when it is available. CDC suggests employers host a flu vaccination clinic.
- Develop flexible leave policies that encourage workers to stay home if they are sick, especially those who have fever and respiratory symptoms.
- Promote hand hygiene and cough etiquette by posting signs that tell the proper steps. Also, provide easy access to "no touch" wastebaskets, soap and water, alcohol-based hand rubs, disposable towels, and cleaning and sanitation materials.
- Keep the workplace clean.
- Educate workers about the flu and conditions that place them at higher risk for complications.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
November 14, 2011
Copyright 2011© LRP Publications