With cold and flu season upon us,the transfer of germs and illness in the workplace increases. Better BusinessBureau advises business owners to take initiative in preventing the spread ofillness.
The flu affects millions of useach year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says this germy bugcosts businesses nearly $10 billion in employee medical visits every year. Keepyour employees healthy by maintaining a clean and productive work environment.The CDC has made it easier with a free employer tool kit,“Make It Your Business to Fight the Flu.”
Here are some tips to helpprotect employees and customers as much as possible:
Acquire products that ward offgerms. Hand sanitizers, tissuesand disinfectants are all products that can aid employees in keeping theworkspace clean. Make them readily available throughout your workspaces.
Advise employees to stay home. While sick employees may deem it necessary toattend work, their presence will only expose healthy employees to contagions.If employees are sick, they should stay home for at least 24 hours after theyno longer show symptoms. Consider creating a leave policy that allows employeesto work from home should they (or their children) fall ill.
Enforce good hygiene in the workplace. Institute the cleaning ofshared equipment such as phones and computers, and wipe down common areas withdisinfectant regularly. Remind employees of the importance of washing theirhands, as well as covering their mouth when sneezing and/or coughing. Encouragethem to “sneeze in your sleeve,” rather than into their hand, to reduce thespread of germs.
Promote flu shots. Search for on-site flu shots through yourlocal hospital, retail pharmacy or other health care provider, or considerreimbursing some or all of the cost for employees to receive the shot on theirown.
Hold a health fair. Contact your local hospital to see if they providehealth fairs for employers. If your business isn’t large enough, you canpossibly team up with others in your building, office park or neighborhood. Ifyou are in a retail location, you can invite the community, as well. You canalso contract the coordination of an on-site health fair with a companyspecializing in the service.
Be the example. It is important for the employer to follow thesame advice being given to the employees. As the boss, it may seem impossibleto take a sick day, but it is just as important for you to stay home and keepyour germs out of the office.