Preparing workplaces for H1N1 Influenza is Focus of Upcoming OSHA Forum

Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Public health officials are concerned the H1N1 (swine) influenza virus has begun its fall return and will likely cause widespread illness. To help employers prepare for the potential impact this virus could have on their workplaces, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is presenting a forum, "Workplace Preparedness: How Small Businesses Can Prepare for H1N1 Influenza," Sept. 30, 2009.

Expert panelists will discuss the differences between seasonal and pandemic influenza and explore work practices that employers can adopt to prevent the spread of the virus. Panelists will also examine strategies for assessing workplace exposure, communicating risks to workers and planning for a more severe influenza pandemic. Additionally, participants will receive guidance on continuing operations if a business experiences staff absenteeism.

"The H1N1 virus could have a major impact on the nation during the flu season," said acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab. "Planning is critical, and this forum underscores the importance of employers taking the necessary steps to protect workers from this threat."

The forum will be held from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. in the Department of Labor's Frances Perkins Building auditorium. Panelists include representatives from OSHA, local health departments and industry. Those interested in attending can contact Russell Jones at [email protected] or 202-693-2532, or Charlene Crawford at [email protected] or 202-693-2165.

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