An encouraging increase in workplace flu vaccinations
Accordingly to Public Health England figures the 2017/2018 influenza outbreak was the worst since 2010/2011. The infectious nature of the illness often means employees are discouraged from going to work, which has an effect on productivity. Research by the International Longevity Centre UK (ILCUK), found that up to £28,902,536 in sick day costs could have been saved by the flu vaccination when the numbers of prevented cases were applied to the 2017 ONS average employment rate and average daily wage.
This year businesses have taken the proactive approach to tackle absence days lost directly to flu. The enquiries started a lot earlier in the year at Healthy Performance; the 2018 workplace vaccination program is now coming to the end and there has been an upward trend of businesses wishing to offer on-site flu vaccinations for their employees.
Healthy Performance, launched workplace flu vaccinations in 2014, in that year 500 vaccines were administered, the 2018 program has vaccinated over 7000 employees, an increase of 41% compared with 2017.
Flu prevention tips for the workplace
Colds and flu cannot be 100% avoided, below are some suggestions for the workplace knowledge.
- Educate the workforce Not all employees will be aware of the potential dangers and complications the flu season can bring and how infectious the illness can be. The NHS provides posters such as “When you move around, the flu moves with you” which can be a simple but effective way to educate employees.
Here are some facts to share with the workforce.
Do you have a cold or flu?
A cold will make you feel miserable but flu will likely come with a fever and make you feel wiped out and void of energy.
- Feed a cold and starve a fever, or so they say! There is no evidence to back this up simply eat healthily and if you don’t feel like eating don’t force yourself.
- Straight to bed? Listen to your body, don’t push yourself too hard and take rest when you need to. A mild cold should not stop you going out or going to work.
- Keep drinking. By this, we mean water and the odd cup of tea and coffee, not alcohol. With a raised temperature, sneezing and coughing you will be losing more fluid than normal.
- Paracetamol, ibuprofen and antibiotics. The advice is very clear on this point, YES you can take paracetamol and ibuprofen together, following the instructions on dosage within a 24hour period. No antibiotics will not help, Cold and Flu are viruses and antibiotics do not treat viruses.
- Hygiene at work. Encourage the handwashing message, provide hand free soap dispenses, sanitising gels, surface disinfection.
- Don’t be a hero. Influenza is highly infectious, encourage employees to be comfortable in staying away from the office.
- On-site vaccinations. If your business is affected this season, why not organise a hassle-free flu program for 2018/2019. Healthy Performance handles the whole process from beginning to end with a full support package designed to take the pressure off department workload. The package includes personalised marketing posters through to an online booking system.