Want to stay well?
A client recently asked for help with preventing the spread of infection. One of the first things we think about this time of year (colds and flu season) is respiratory infection. We blogged a couple of months back on seasonal influenza and how to prevent it, promoting the idea of getting a flu vaccination for appropriate populations. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports activity on the upswing, especially in the 25-64 year-old age group, ranging from “sporadic” to “widespread.”

Be part of the solution. Here is how you can help:

Handwashing is the simplest, most effective “do-it-yourself” vaccine.
Wet, Lather, Scrub, Rinse and Dry, and you remove germs and reduce the spread of diarrheal and respiratory illness.

  • Handwashing can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 16%.
  • Researchers in London estimate that if everyone routinely washed their hands, a million deaths a year could be prevented.
  • A large percentage of foodborne disease outbreaks are spread by contaminated hands. Appropriate hand washing practices reduce the risk of foodborne illness and other infections, and could reduce diarrheal disease-associated deaths by up to 50%.
  • More information is available here.

To help stop the spread of germs:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Put your used tissue in a waste basket.
  • If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth.

How employers can help:

  • Provide employees with access to germicidal wipes to clean their own telephones, keyboards, desk surfaces, etc. on a regular basis.
  • Provide tissues and no-touch receptacles for used tissue disposal.
  • Provide conveniently located dispensers of alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Where sinks are available, ensure that supplies for hand washing (i.e., soap, disposable towels) are consistently available.
  • Have your housekeeping staff wipe down frequently-touched common areas (doorknobs, water fountain knobs, light switches, etc , with a germicidal surface wipe.

If you are feel that that you may have worksite exposures, a “sick building,” or other environmental or occupational concerns, The EI Group’s experienced staff of Certified Industrial Hygienists, Certified Safety Professionals, Professional Engineers and Occupational Health Professionals can help you. We can also provide you with employee health screenings, immunizations, vaccinations as well as training tailored to your specific needs.