What do you do when one of your employees comes to you and says that he has Tuberculosis (TB)? It's a contagious, or communicable, disease that can spread from one employee to another. And if it spreads through your office, it could mean groups of your employees staying away from work. This'll obviously affect productivity and your bottom line.
Follow these steps so you know what to do to prevent an epidemic turning into a pandemic.
In 2013 you will contribute to R19 billion spent in sick leave!
Sounds impossible, I know. I didn't believe it either. But R19 billion is what sick leave
costs South African companies a year. This is equal to the amount medical aids paid to suppliers in 2010.
And did you know R57million of that is from employees taking 'sick days' off purely because they just didn't feel like coming in to work?
Three steps to keep contagious diseases out of the office
Step#1 Don't Panic: Communicate
Let your staff know you're taking steps to prevent this disease from spreading. Let them know that everything is under control. Put your plan in writing.
Step#2 Educate your employees
Let them know what the symptoms are. You can get this off any health site, or Google. Let them know what the medical treatments are. Post this information in employee break rooms.
Send out an email to all your employees: Two employees in the call centre have chickenpox. Their doctors have booked them off and they'll only return to work once they are healthy again. We are closely monitoring the situation.
Post the information on staff bulletin boards.
Step#3: Encourage sick employees to stay away from work
To make sure there's no abuse of sick leave
, employees who stay off must provide you with proof that they've been tested, and are in fact positive or on treatment. Make sure your sick leave
policy encourages employees who have contagious diseases to stay home so that they don't infect other employees.
Will your company's HR Policies and Procedures hold up in court?
Don't wait for a CCMA dispute to discover your company doesn't have a leg to stand on!
Four tips to prevent an epidemic turning into a pandemic
Encourage employees to frequently wipe down their work areas, door handles, phone receivers and spray any objects they touch with sanitiser.
Ask custodial or cleaning staff and services to disinfect all surfaces in the workplace daily.
There are mobile TB clinics that come to your work to test staff. This is much cheaper than hiring a bus to get staff to a clinic. It's not a legal requirement but it's a 'nice to have'.
Make sure bathrooms have antibacterial soap.
You now have all the tips and expertise to ensure you don't have a pandemic on your hands. For other more useful information on how to increase Health and Safety awareness in your work place, make sure you sign up to the Health and Safety Advisor
... Click here to find out more.
Until next time,
P.S Sign up to the Health and Safety Club
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