Health Organization (WHO) has declared the current outbreak of the H1N1 virus a pandemic. WHO Director, Dr. Margaret Chan concluded, “… the scientific criteria
for an influenza pandemic have been met.” Enough cases have spread to a greater
number of countries throughout the world to raise the level of concern.
If you are
like 41% of employers surveyed by Mercer you don’t have a policy in place to
respond to health related emergencies. This gap in preparedness can be due to a
lack of knowledge or an attitude that the virus is spreading far away, not in
your town. Tools are available to create a plan and complacency won’t help when
employees start calling in sick or develop fear when one case is reported.
guidelines can be a good place to start forming a framework for your policy. A
local business organization or employer group may also be a source for
information. If they have not yet created a template now’s the time to help
form a committee to get the work done.
The WHO has
not recommended restricted travel but if your employees are traveling provide
the correct information about precautions they should take. Now’s a good time
to remind employees to report illnesses properly, stay home if they have the
flu or flu symptoms and your requirements for health clearance before returning
to work after a contagious illness.
insturctions about hand washing as you check inventory of soap and hand
sanitizer. Everyone will feel better if you take steps before the first fever
and cough are reported.