Are You Prepared to Deal with Infectious Diseases?

Are You Prepared to Deal with Infectious Diseases at Work?

We’ve all been there, you’re in a meeting with that person who is obviously not feeling well.  There’s a battle to see who scores the seat at the table which is the furthest away from the sick person.  This year, with the news about the Coronavirus, employees are particularly concerned about the spread of germs in the workplace.   Whether it’s the Coronavirus or just the normal cold and flu season, there are some simple steps you can take to limit the impact on the workplace and to help keep your employees healthy.

Encourage sick employees to stay home.  If an employee has a fever or active cold and flu symptoms, it’s best to either encourage them to stay home or to send them home if they report to work.  Person to person contact is the most common way to transmit illnesses.  Having one person missing is better than having everyone infected.

Wash your hands!  The most effective prevention method of disease transmission is through frequent and thorough handwashing.  Encourage employees to wash their hands with good quality antibiotic soap.

Keep workplaces clean.  Scheduling a routine sanitizing cleaning of the workplace is a great way to keep germs at bay.

Provide sanitizer.  Having hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes available empowers employees to keep surfaces clean.

Offer work from home options.  If an employee is not feeling well or has a family member who is under the weather, a work from home option may be a great option, if their job allows for it.

Relax your attendance policy.  If you have a point-based attendance policy, this would be a good time to consider relaxing those standards.

Limit overseas travel.  If you have employees who are scheduled to travel overseas, it may be beneficial to delay that travel until more is known about the Coronavirus.

Keep HIPAA confidences.  As you discuss illnesses with employees you may very well find out about other more serious health conditions which can complicate regular viruses.  These illnesses may be covered by HIPAA and should be treated accordingly.

At the end of the day, even your best, most engaged employees aren’t going to bring their best selves to the work if they aren’t feeling their best.  Help them stay healthy.

 

Interested in learning more about protecting your workplace from the Coronavirus?  You can read more at the Center for Disease Control at:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

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