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Swine Flu Scare: Workplace Preparation for Pandemic Threat


Chills. Upset stomach. Fatigue. Not only are these the symptoms of the H1N1 "swine flu" virus, but in many cases they represent the business community's reaction to dealing with this pandemic. This winter, millions of Americans will contract H1N1, and employers must prepare for it's impact in the workplace to protect the health of employees and avoid disruption of operations.

Employers should view a potential outbreak of H1N1 in the workplace as they would view any other potential threat to employee health and productivity. Strategic written plans can largely help prevent the spread of flu in the workplace and enable a swift response to high absenteeism and other related issues.

Even though H1N1 is not an employment-related illness, it can have a devastating impact on your business operations. There are many common sense measures employers can take to minimize the likelihood that the flu will seriously impact their operations and reduce the impact of the flu on employee health. Above all, employers need to be prepared and carefully consider which actions fit best in their workplace.

This article appeared in the December 2009 issues of both Greater Columbia Business Monthly and Greater Pee Dee Business Journal.

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