Q. I am very concerned about the H1N1 flu outbreak, especially if it flares up again this fall. Are there are steps I should take to prepare my business if an employee contracts the illness?
A. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a six-step protocol to prepare for an infectious disease outbreak in your workplace:
- Plan for the impact on your business. Establish an infectious disease coordinator, identify essential personnel and run drills.
- Plan for the impact on your employees and customers by forecasting absences and ensuring proper medical access.
- Establish policies, such as and sick-leave, flexible work schedules and travel restrictions.
- Allocate resources for accessible infection control supplies and availability of medical consultation.
- Communicate with and educate employees about the disease.
- Communicate with external organizations.
The EEOC also recommends developing an ADA-compliant survey to distribute to employees to determine their work availability in the event of a pandemic outbreak.
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