swine flu spreads newspaper headline

What Businesses Need to Know About Swine Flu

The words “swine flu”, “H1N1”, and “vaccine” seem to be on everyone’s lips these days. Hopefully at this point we all know that the best defenses against this newest strain of flu are covering our mouths when coughing or sneezing and washing our hands regularly; but what should businesses be doing to prepare for this flu season? Is your business prepared to handle flu outbreaks, mass absenteeism, and disrupted supply chains?

Business owners need to plan now for possible disruptions in their normal flow of operations due to illness. The most basic recommendations from the CDC describe how to prevent large numbers of absences: Develop policies that allow sick workers to stay home or to work from home. Determine how to handle workers who need to stay home to take care of young children who are sick or were sent home due to school closures. Encourage all employees to receive both the seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccines. Provide hand sanitizer, antibacterial soap, tissues, and other materials in the workplace that promote a hygienic atmosphere.

A pandemic flu plan should not only outline preventive measures, but it should also plan proactively in case of mass absenteeism. Plans should identify employees and business functions that are essential to maintaining business operations. Develop contingency plans in case there are disruptions. Cross-training employees may be helpful to ensure fundamental knowledge is transferred and the business continues to run smoothly. Temporary workers can also be hired.

Any plans and policies that are put into place should be effectively communicated to all employees. Planning and staying informed will help businesses stay afloat during a severe pandemic.


This information is provided as a service to you by Compliance Consultants, Inc.

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