Is Your Facility Ready For Flu Season

image of bench with leaves changing colorI will admit that fall is one of my favorite seasons. It’s what comes afterwards that I am not so fond of.

With the winter comes flu season and more sickness in general. It only makes sense with everyone staying inside more, people traveling for holidays and so on.

So what can you do to keep your workplace healthy? We have put together some tips to help you and your staff stay healthy.

If you are using a cleaning service, you should talk to them about their plan to keep your building extra sanitary during this season.

OSHA has listed some great tips on their website, we have listed them below.

Tips For a Healthy Workplace:

  • Get vaccinated! Vaccination is the most important way to prevent the spread of the flu. For additional information about seasonal flu vaccine priorities, see Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine.
  • Stay at home if you are sick. The CDC recommends that workers who have a fever and respiratory symptoms stay at home until 24 hours after their fever ends (100 degrees Fahrenheit [37.8 degrees Celsius] or lower), without the use of medication. Not everyone who has the flu will have a fever. Other symptoms could include a runny nose, body aches, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting
  • 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). Throw tissues into a “no-touch” wastebasket.
  • Clean your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
    1. When using soap and water, rub soapy hands together for at least 20 seconds, rinse hands with water, and dry completely.
    2. If soap and water are not available, use of an alcohol-based hand rub is a helpful interim measure until hand washing is possible. When using an alcohol-based hand rub, apply liquid to palm of hand, cover all surfaces of the hands with the liquid, and rub hands together until dry.
  • 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.
  • Avoid shaking hands or coming in close contact with coworkers and others who may be ill.
  • Stay in shape. Eat a healthy diet. Get plenty of rest, exercise, and relaxation.
  • Speak with your doctor and find out if you are in a high risk category for seasonal flu (e.g., elderly, pregnant women, small children, persons with asthma, etc.).
  • Participate in any training offered by your employer. Make sure that you understand how to stay healthy at work.

What You Should Expect From Your Cleaning Service:

A plan to sanitize office items including phones, door handles, common areas, trash cans and especially restrooms. This is something that they should be doing anyways, but it’s a good idea to have an extra effort during the flu season. We would recommend that a hospital grade disinfectant be used. It’s also important to have your trash can liners changed on a regular basis.

With a little effort and preparation you can help keep your staff healthy and happy during the holiday and flu season.

 

Scott Gibbens
Scott Gibbens has been in the office and commercial cleaning business since 1988. Scott expanded the business to Albany in 2000.

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