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Preventing an Office Epidemic
Epidemics affect and jeopardize all facets of day-to-day business existence. Rapid, rational response during a widespread illness or disaster may not only save your life and the lives of your employees, but also your business. Following simple guidelines for healthy behavior, and communicating epidemic plans to ensure that those around you are fully aware of how plans are to be executed, will help you to handle the situation more effectively.
It All Starts with Healthy Habits
- Maintain a balanced diet.
- Exercise regularly.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Wash hands thoroughly – for at least 10-20 seconds – and often.
- Cough or sneeze into your sleeve, not hands.
- Routinely clean and disinfect desks and common areas.
- Keep up on immunizations.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid close contact with those who are ill.
Simple Guidelines that You and Your Employees can Follow in the Event an Epidemic Occurs:
- Communicate the company pandemic/epidemic plan to all employees and be certain that everyone is fully aware and trained on how the plan is to be executed—staff notification, evacuation, assembly location.
- Maintain regular contact with other company locations and develop a plan where each office can assist each other if necessary.
- Preserve vital records off-site such as financial, insurance, client and building information.
- Place into action a continuity plan due to employee absenteeism—including implementation of a strategy so that critical employees can work remotely.
- Have masks, gloves and cleaning agents available to all employees at your site.
- Designate a company spokesperson who can address the media, should the need arise.
- Prepare a list of emergency information, including each employee’s family contact information, client contacts, state public health department and emergency contact information, such as police, fire and paramedics.
For more information on preventing an epidemic in your office…
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: www.pandemicflu.gov
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov