Preventing Flu in the Workplace



Flu is one of the most common and one of the most contagious diseases in the world. Each year, in Australia alone, around 1.5 million work days are missed, which translates to a huge amount of loss for business and workplaces.

It is very important to make sure that everyone in your workplace is protected from getting the flu. While it is not possible to have a 100% flu-safe environment, there are some measures that can be taken which would dramatically reduce the risk of employees getting infected.

The Washroom

The washroom is the crucial area of the workplace when it comes to preventing flu. A good, clean and hygienic washroom will help employees to prevent the spread of cold and flu by providing antiseptic hand soaps, hand dryers and paper towels.

It would be best for a workplace to have a managed washroom service. The service providers would ensure that the dispensers would always have anti-bacterial soap, that there would always be paper towels and they can do deep cleaning.

Eating Right

Employees can do a great deal in making sure that they would stay safe from the flu. One of the most effective steps that they can take towards preventing the flu is to eat right. The body is equipped with the immune system which can fight the flu virus. By eating fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins A, C and E, not to mention antioxidants, one can give a boost to the immune system.

Exercise Helps

It is not just by eating right that the body’s immune system can be improved; exercise can also help. Each jogging session or gym workout helps the body’s natural defence against diseases. 30 minutes of moderate exercise is all that’s needed on a daily basis. That can be incorporated into the daily routine of a person.

More Sleep and Less Stress

The amount of sleep that one is getting also has an effect on the immune system. People who get less sleep tend to have poor immune system. The same is true with those who are stressed. It is important for a person to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each day.

Dealing with stress is a lot tougher. Some people find it hard to cope with stress and so they are left prone to diseases like cold and flu. The good news is that there are plenty of activities that one can engage in to reduce the amount of stress.

Personal Precautions

Employees can also take personal precautions to ensure that they would be protected from diseases like flu in the workplace, or if they are infected with it, to not infect others.  Hygiene is the most important component of these personal precautions.

Everyone should be encouraged to wash their hands all the time, using water and soap. If washing with soap is not possible then the application of  hand sanitiser would be the next best step. It is crucial that dispensers containing hand sanitizer should be available all around the office.

Tissues should also be readily available in the office. Employees should be properly educated on how diseases like flu cold can be transmitted so they know the value of using the personal hygiene products.

Vaccination

Perhaps the best means of avoiding flu in the workplace is to get vaccinated. Though it is usually not realistic to expect everyone in the workplace to have their flu shots, it would help if it is encouraged by the management.  One thing that employers can do is to educate employees about how flu is transmitted and the advantages of vaccination.

Stop the Spread Right Away

No matter how much precaution is taken in the workplace, there would be someone who would end up being infected with cold or flu. In such cases, the best thing to do is to ensure that it would not be spreading.

Those in-charge of cleaning the workplace should pay attention to certain areas where the virus can be found. Common areas, work spaces and kitchen areas should be prioritized when cleaning. Surfaces such as door handles should be cleaned thoroughly since people are always touching those.

As mentioned earlier, there is no guarantee that all these steps and ideas would prevent people in the workplace from getting sick because of flu, but they can help in reducing the risk of infection. To summarize, here are the important points to keep in mind:

  • Employees should stay healthy.
  • The workplace should stay clean and hygienic.
  • Soaps, hand sanitizers and other products should be readily available

A professional managed washroom service can help a company in making sure that their workplace would be free from flu.

Since 1963 Alsco has been helping Australian business by providing professional services. We have effective washroom rental programs that are available throughout Australia. Contact us now, so you can get more information and even get a free quote about our managed washroom service and forget about your worries regarding washroom hygiene at your workplace.

 

Image Courtesy: William Brawley

 



Disclaimer – These articles are provided to supply general health, safety, and green information to people responsible for the same in their organisation. The articles are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs.