Influenza can be a serious illness, especially for women who are pregnant or workers who have health problems. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly a quarter-million people are hospitalized each year from complications connected to the flu virus, and at least 36,000 die. One of the most common places that we contract the flu is at work. Yet while the workplace may expose you to the virus, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting sick.
- Visit a health clinic or your doctor each year for a flu vaccination. Although the injection may not protect individuals from every last strain of the virus, vaccinations will lessen both risk AND symptoms. It is especially important to get vaccinated if you have a chronic health condition, are pregnant, or are over 65 years old. Here are a list of clinics in Western Washington that offer the flu shot.
- Avoid co-workers who present flu symptoms. Stay clear of those who are coughing, sneezing or sound congested.
- Remind sick co-corkers (or employees) to stay home from work if they’re sick. The lost productivity of one person missing a few days on the job is significantly less than an entire work team falling ill.
- Wash your hands frequently. People are at the highest risk of contracting flu germs to through their hands. In particular, be sure to wash up prior to eating and after blowing your nose or coughing.
- Try to refrain from touching your nose, mouth, or eyes. Cold and flu germs can travel from contaminated surfaces to your hands, and from there move on to the face, where they thrive in a warm, moist environment.
- Use antibacterial products to clean your workspace daily. Pay special care to computer keyboards, doorknobs, phones and any other objects that may be touched by others. Keep a private pen on you to avoid using one that a sick co-worker might have contaminated.
- Observe healthy habits. Make sure to get adequate sleep, drink an abundance of fluids, exercise regularly, and keep stress levels low. Such habits can protect you from getting sick in many circumstances, or at the very least support your body in healing more quickly if you do get the flu.
Occupational Illness Attorney
If you have a workers compensation claimor occupational disease, the L&I Lawyers of Emery Reddy can help you secure the maximum benefits allowed under Washington law. Many workers also turn to us for experienced legal representation when they are required to complete an Independent Medical Examination for their claim, or when they face denied disability benefits. Our Seattle law firm also has comprehensive experience defending the rights of those in need of a third party injury attorney. Call us today for a free consultation.