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Safety Tips | Workplace exposure

Warding off the flu

January 12, 2011

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Flu season can strike a workplace hard. In 2009, the H1N1 influenza virus emerged, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes the virus is likely to spread again this season in conjunction with the seasonal flu.

Although it is impossible to predict how many individuals will be afflicted by the flu this season, CDC points to a series of steps employers can take to minimize the risk of an outbreak in the workplace:

  • Discourage workers from using one another’s desks, phones, computers or work tools.
  • Minimize the number of group meetings, communicating instead through e-mail or phone.
  • When meetings are necessary, make sure the meeting space is properly ventilated and that workers are not required to be within 6 feet of one another.
  • Limit unnecessary visitors in the workplace.
  • Take proper care of personal protective equipment, regularly replacing disposable PPE, and properly cleaning and disinfecting reusable equipment.
  • Instruct workers on protective behaviors such as proper handwashing, cough etiquette, and avoiding touching the eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Encourage workers to get a seasonal influenza vaccination.

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