BWC Blog

A handy message for the flu season

By Sue Davis (“Safety Sue”), Director, BWC Employee Safety & Health Administration

In 1847, a Hungarian obstetrician by the name of Ignaz P. Semmelweiss showed that hand washing greatly reduced infections in newborns. Dr. Semmelweiss attempted to promote hand washing and cleanliness among his colleagues, who were so offended that they committed him to an insane asylum.

Today, it is a well-known fact that hand washing greatly reduces the spread of disease.

Yet studies show that only 67 percent of people practice any sort of hand hygiene. Researchers believe this number is low because most people have a vague idea that hand washing is important, but many don’t have a grasp on the facts.

Communicable diseases are serious business. At the very least, diseases – like a cold or the flu – impact your day-to-day life in a negative way. More serious diseases can be very dangerous to your health and to others.

Although the flu season lasts from October until May, the peak months are usually between December and March. In addition to the flu, varieties of other communicable diseases spread more easily in winter months.

As an employer, it’s important to do your part in preventing diseases from spreading in your workplace this flu season. In 2016, your employees won’t question your mental health for encouraging hand washing; in fact, December is National Hand Washing Month. So now is the time to remind your employees to wash their hands often, keep their workspaces clean and eat healthy. And if they are ill, encourage them to stay home.

Here are a few other facts to share with your employees:

For more information:
http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/
https://www.b4brands.com/blog/facts-hand-washing-hygiene/