Preventing Cold and Flu Season in the Work Place
During the holiday season, it’s easy to catch a virus and pass it on to others. All of the extra activity of holiday shopping and late nights wrapping gifts tends to leave people feeling run-down. Likewise, they are more exposed to being trapped in spaces with tons of germs floating about at holiday parties and family gatherings. This jeopardizes their chances of staying healthy and increases the transfer or germs and illness in the workplace. Better Business Bureau advises business owners to take initiative in preventing the spread of illness in the workplace.
“Beginning in late November each year, the flu affects millions of us”, said Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB Serving Central East Texas. “Keep your employees healthy by maintaining a clean and productive work environment.”
BBB offers the following tips to help protect employees and customers as much as possible:
Acquire products that ward off germs. Hand sanitizers, tissues and disinfectants are all products that can aid employees in keeping the workspace clean. Make them readily available throughout your workspaces.
Advise employees to stay home. While sick employees may deem it necessary to attend work, their presence will only expose healthy employees to contagions. If employees are sick, they should stay home for at least 24 hours after they no longer show symptoms. Consider creating a leave policy that allows employees to work from home should they (or their children) fall ill.
Enforce good hygiene in the work place. Institute the cleaning of shared equipment such as phones and computers, and wipe down common areas with disinfectant regularly. Remind employees of the importance of washing their hands, as well as covering their mouth when sneezing and/or coughing. Encourage them to “sneeze in your sleeve,” rather than into their hand, to reduce the spread of germs.
Promote flu shots. Search for on-site flu shots through your local hospital, retail pharmacy or other health care provider, or consider reimbursing some or all of the cost for employees to receive the shot on their own.
Hold a health fair. Contact your local hospital to see if they provide health fairs for employers. If your business isn’t large enough, you can possibly team up with others in your building, office park or neighborhood. If you are in a retail location, you can invite the community, as well. You can also contract the coordination of an on-site health fair with a company specializing in the service.
Be the example. It is important for the employer to follow the same advice being given to the employees. As the boss, it may seem impossible to take a sick day, but it is just as important for you to stay home and keep your germs out of the office.
For more business and consumer tips, go to www.bbb.org. To report a fraud or scam, call the BBB Hotline: (903) 581-8373.