It’s flu season, which means you know the drill: If you get sick, stay home from work. But what if you have a big meeting, or an important deadline?
“Most people know they should stay home, but still find reasons to go into work,” said Liz Hill, SAIF’s Total Worker Health® adviser. “Not only does this expose your co-workers to an illness, it also makes it a lot harder for your body to recover.”
Hill suggests managers can help set expectations during flu season. This includes:
- Encouraging workers to use their sick leave. Oregon law requires employers with 10 or more employees to provide 40 hours of paid leave per year.
- Making it easy for workers to wash their hands. Consider having alcohol-based hand sanitizer available on worksites where handwashing facilities are not available.
- Planning for flu season. When employees are out, extra work can fall to other staff members—increasing their likelihood of getting sick or injured. Have a contingency plan for being short on employees.
Most importantly, managers should lead by example.
“It sometimes seems managers are the least likely to take a sick day,” said Hill. “Remember, you are setting the tone for the whole team—if you get sick, stay home.”
For more information on flu prevention at work, visit saif.com/flu.