Businesses lose billions of dollars every year because the flu moves quickly through the workforce reducing productivity and revenue. Employers need to take the threat of the flu very seriously. Employers can do several things to protect employees from the flu.
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Put Responsible Policies Into Place
The first step should be to put responsible and comprehensive flu policies in place. The most important part of this policy is that employees must stay home if symptoms of the flu start appearing. This is a very effective way to keep the virus out of the workplace. You should also create flu policies about avoiding close contact, using items other people have handled and washing hands after using common pieces of equipment. These policies can stop the flu from spreading.
Educate the Workforce About the Flu
The next step should be to hold a training or a workshop designed for employee education about the flu. You want to go over everything from what influenza is to how the virus is transmitted between people in the workplace. Employee education makes certain that everyone is aware of the dangers of the flu and the reasons that it is important to be proactive about preventing the spread of germs.
Provide Hand Sanitizer and Cleaning Supplies
Fill the workplace with hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies. You want to have hand sanitizer in as many locations as possible. This will encourage employees to use the sanitizer to kill germs before and after handling items or meeting with clients. Having cleaning supplies available will allow employees to wipe down surfaces regularly that might be harboring the flu virus.
Send Potentially Sick Employees Home
There is a chance that an employee might feel fine in the morning and come into work. That employee could develop flu symptoms over the course of a few hours. You want to let managers or team leaders know that any employee who becomes ill in the workplace should be sent home right away. This is important because a sick person could spread the flu to a large percentage of the workforce in just a couple of hours.
Host a Flu Clinic When the Season Starts
A very effective way to protect employees is to host a flu clinic when the season starts. A flu clinic means you bring in medical professionals to administer the flu vaccine directly in the workplace. The best way to do this is to offer flu shots for free and give every employee an extra 10 to 15 minute break to get the shot. You could also have the professionals move through the workplace stopping at every employee who wants the vaccine.
Schedule Regular Cleanings of Common Areas
There are some common areas like break rooms, supply closets or copy rooms where many employees go although no one specifically cleans the location. These areas can become breeding grounds for the flu virus. You can prevent this by scheduling regular cleanings of common areas a few times each day to ensure the virus is not accumulating on those surfaces.