Precautions for Healthcare Workers During Flu Season
Region 2 VPP Sites:
"For the latest information on the 2016-2017 flu season, see the following references / links:
OSHA - Topics Page, Seasonal Flu / Healthcare Workers
CDC - Frequently Asked Flu Questions 2016-2017 Influenza Season
CDC - Infection Control in Health Care Facilities
CDC/HICPAC - 2007 Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings
Some Basic Precautions for All Workers
-Get vaccinated! Vaccination is the most important way to prevent the spread of the flu. For additional information about seasonal flu vaccine priorities, see Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine.
- Stay at home if you are sick. CDC recommends that workers who have a fever and respiratory symptoms stay at home until 24 hours after their fever ends (100 degrees Fahrenheit [37.8 degrees Celsius] or lower), without the use of medication. Not everyone who has the flu will have a fever. Other symptoms could include a runny nose, body aches, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting. Note that CDC has special instructions for workers returning to work in areas with patients whose immune systems are severely weakened.
- Keep frequently touched common surfaces (e.g., telephones, computer equipment, etc.) clean.
- Try not to use a coworker's phone, desk, office, computer, or other work tools and equipment. If you must use a coworker’s equipment, consider cleaning it first with a disinfectant.
- Stay in shape. Eat a healthy diet. Get plenty of rest, exercise, and relaxation.
- If you are in a high risk category for flu complications (e.g., pregnant women, persons with asthma, etc.) talk with your employer about alternative work assignments.
- Participate in all training offered by your employer. Make sure that you understand your exposure risk, your facility's policies and procedures for isolation precautions, use of workplace controls, work practices, and PPE protection during aerosol-generating procedures, and potential complications of the flu."
(This is shared from an email sent to the Region 2 VPP Sites from Richard F. Brown, CSP, CFPS, VPP Manager, US DOL OSHA)