FOR EMPLOYERS Flu Guidelines
All employers should be prepared to handle the impact of seasonal flu on their businesses. In determining how to stay prepared, businesses can encourage employees to get their flu shots, which can help prevent them from becoming ill and spreading the flu to their colleagues. Businesses also can encourage good hygiene habits such as frequent handwashing or covering mouths when sneezing or coughing to decrease the spread of flu virus among employees.
As flu season (which lasts from late fall to early spring) approaches, businesses should use this time to consult and update their pandemic flu and continuity of operations plans, if these exist. A pandemic flu outbreak is different from seasonal flu outbreaks in that if a pandemic flu virus occurs, it would spread more easily among more people, and would cause more employees to become ill and be absent from work. Businesses that do not have these plans should still focus on decreasing the spread of seasonal Influenza among employees and limiting its impact in the workplace.
Businesses should be prepared to deal with a higher prevalence and longer duration of absenteeism among employees who become ill or must care for ill family members during the flu season. Employers should also be aware that distributors in their supply chain may experience similar disruptions in business and therefore plan accordingly.
For more information on developing a pandemic plan as well as keeping your workplace healthy during flu season, visit:
- Flu.gov Information for Businesses and Employers
- OSHA Fact Sheet on Developing a Pandemic Flu Preparedness Plan for Your Office
- Free Tools and Materials for Your Website
- Free National Print Materials for Your Office
- Free State Print Materials for Your Office
- Vaccine Information Sheet