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With the end of winter approaching we are in the worst period for influenza. Employee illness and absence as a result costs productivity and can affect the long-term health of employees. However, some simple but medically proven steps can be implemented in workplaces and will minimise the spread of the flu this season.

These include:

  • ●Regular hand washing and dry thoroughly;
  • ●Appropriate cough and sneeze etiquette;
  • ●Recognise common symptoms of colds and flu’s and avoid cross infection to other employees;
  • ●Always dispose of waste appropriately; and
  • ●Consider supplying hand sanitiser, tissues, soap and alcohol rubs as well as regular disinfecting of doorknobs and communal phones and keyboards.

To further improve awareness of basic hygiene, employers should consider placing signs near sinks, in reception areas, in lunchrooms, and lavatories. Further, if an employee is infected and at a contagious stage strongly “encourage” them to use personal leave to recover. Workplaces may be under resourced for a day or two but it stops a flu spreading through the workplace.

By being proactive in the workplace on relevant health issues employers will reduce associated costs and contribute to fulfilling their legal obligation to provide a safe and healthy environment for workers.

Source: Charles Watson, Senior HR Advisor, Better HR

Published: 24 August 2017

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