Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holiday season drag you down – or worse – give you the flu. This week, in observance of National Influenza Vaccination Week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reminds all employers and workers of the importance of maintaining a healthy, influenza-free workplace this season and throughout the New Year.
The following are seven simple tips to keep in mind for preventing seasonal flu at work:
- Get vaccinated. Vaccination is the most important way to prevent the spread of the flu. Take the vaccination pledge.
- Stay at home if you are sick. The HHS/CDC recommends that workers who have a fever and respiratory symptoms stay at home until 24 hours after their fever ends without the use of medication.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or cough and sneeze into your upper sleeve(s).
- Keep frequently touched common surfaces (e.g., telephones, computer equipment, etc.) clean.
- Try not to use a coworker’s phone, desk, office, computer, or other work tools and equipment. If you must use a coworker’s equipment, consider cleaning it first with a disinfectant.
For more information, visit OSHA’s seasonal flu webpage, which provides additional guidance and resources for protecting workers during flu season, or check out the CDC’s Flu IQ website to test your knowledge about the flu and see how you can help to keep your workplace safe, healthy and flu-free.
Mandy Edens is the director of technical support & emergency management for OSHA.