The Ebola virus has made its first appearance outside the African continent, with a Liberian traveler in Texas testing positive. The chances of the virus coming its spread in North America are exceedingly low, say experts, but it’s worth launching a preparation program to allay fears among your workers.
The Ebola is spread through the transmission of blood and other bodily fluids. Its symptoms include headache, severe fever and muscle o1r stomach pain. While there have been no signs of it in Canada, here are a few methods of preparing for its threat in your workplace:
1) Put procedures in place in order to ensure that business proceeds as usual. A good resource for this is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Planning Checklist
, which details activities that business may take in order to prevent a pandemic from having negative effects.
2) Do any cross-training needed for employees to fill in and complete work tasks in the case of employee absenteeism. In addition, you might want to review employee leave policies, giving attention to flexible work solutions including staggered hours and telecommuting.
3) Establish points of contact for reporting absences. There should also be backups for these contact points. Make sure contacts know where to find answers with regard to the firm’s health plan.
The Centers for Disease Control advises the practice of careful hygiene, avoiding contact with blood and body fluids. In particular, healthcare workers who may be exposed to people with Ebola should wear protective clothing, including masks, gloves, gown and eye protection; practice proper infection control and sterilization measures; isolate patients with Ebola from other patients; avoid direct contact with the bodies of people who have died from Ebola; and notify health officials if you have had direct contact with the blood or body fluids of an Ebola sufferer.
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