Like The Herald Business Journal on Facebook!
The Herald of Everett, Washington
Heraldnet.com

The top local business stories in your email

Contact Us:

Josh O'Connor
Publisher
Phone: 425-339-3007
joconnor@heraldnet.com

Jody Knoblich
General Sales Manager
Phone: 425-339-3445
Fax: 425-339-3049
jknoblich@heraldnet.com

Jim Davis
Editor
Phone: 425-339-3097
jdavis@heraldnet.com

Site address:
1800 41st Street, S-300,
Everett, WA 98203

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 930
Everett, WA 98206

HBJ RSS feeds

Feds offer businesses tips to survive flu season

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
HBJ staff
Published: Friday, January 11, 2013, 4:17 p.m.
The 2012-2013 flu season arrived earlier than usual and is hitting the Puget Sound region particularly hard. As the nation braces for increased flu activity, now is the time to prepare yourself, your business and your employees. Not only is prevention important for physical health, it may impact your bottom line if your staff are out sick. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers these tips to help you avoid illness and maintain business continuity.
Identify a workplace coordinator. This person would be the single point of contact for all issues relating to a flu outbreak and be responsible for reaching out to community health providers and implementing protocols for dealing with ill employees, in advance of any outbreak or impact on the business.
Examine policies for leave, telecommuting and employee compensation. Obviously this will vary by business, but the emphasis here is on refreshing yourself and your employees about what your company’s health-care plans cover in the event of sick leave as a result of the flu. You should also re-evaluate leave policies to ensure a flexible, nonpunitive plan that allows for impacted individuals to stay at home. Employees may also need to stay at home to care for sick children or telecommuting in the event of school closures. Be prepared for this by implementing appropriate telecommuting infrastructures in advance.
Post signs or host a flu vaccination clinic for employees. The Centers for Disease Control provides free posters and stock content for your employee newsletter that will remind staff about flu vaccinations and other safety precautions. The CDC also recommends holding a flu vaccination clinic for your employees, among other strategies, for ensuring your employees have access to the seasonal flu vaccine. The CDC Flu Toolkit for Businesses provides all of these great resources.
Identify essential employees, essential business functions and other critical inputs. Make plans to maintain communication and ensure clear work direction with critical personnel and vendors (and even customers) in the event that the supply chain is broken or other unpredictable disruptions occur.
Share your flu and other pandemic plans with employees and clearly communicate expectations. Consider posting a bilingual version of your preparedness plan, leave information, health tips and other flu awareness resources across all your work locations and online if you operate an Intranet.
Prepare business continuity plans. Absenteeism or other workplace changes need to be addressed early on so you can maintain business operations. Get tips on common sense measures your business can take from SBA.gov/Prepare.
Establish an emergency communication plan. Hopefully your business already has some form of emergency communication plan. If not, document your key business contacts (with back-ups), the chain of communications (including suppliers and customers), and processes for tracking and communicating business and employee status.
Story tags » SCBJ Health CareSCBJ NewsSCBJ Business

MORE HBJ HEADLINES

CALENDAR

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus