Georgia-Pacific HealthSmart

Updates

Measles

What is Measles?

Measles is a serious respiratory disease (in the lungs and breathing tubes) that causes a rash and fever. It is very contagious. In rare cases, it can be deadly.

Measles is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Cough, runny nose, and red eyes
  • Diarrhea
  • Ear infection
  • Rash of tiny, red spots that start at the head and spread to the rest of the body
  • Measles starts with a fever that can get very high. Measles is especially dangerous for babies and young children

Measles is very contagious

Almost anyone who has not had the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination will get measles if exposed to the measles virus.

Measles spreads when a person infected with the measles virus breathes, coughs, or sneezes. You can catch measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, even up to 2 hours after that person is gone. You can also catch measles from an infected person even before he or she has a measles rash.

Prevention and Protection

Get the MMR vaccine and vaccinate your children.

  • Two doses is nearly 100% effective at preventing measles.
  • Doctors recommend all children get the MMR vaccine—one dose at 12-15 months, and another between 4-6 years.
  • People who cannot show they were vaccinated (and have never had measles) should be

Practice hygiene and cleanliness.

  • Wash your hands often. When soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick such as sharing utensils/cups, kissing or hugging

Perspective

In the United States most measles cases result from international travel, people who get infected abroad, and bring the disease in. The majority of people who get measles are unvaccinated.

On January 23, 2015 the CDC issued a health advisory to public health departments and healthcare facilities abouta multi-state outbreak linked to an amusement park in California.

Sources

For more information about Measles, please visit:

Absenteeism

What You Can Do to Reduce the Cost of Absent Employees

Simple Steps Help Keep People Present and Productive

Companies lose considerable productivity when employees are absent from work, as well as when they report to work while they are sick and cannot perform optimally (a practice referred to as presenteeism).

Absenteeism costs U.S. businesses big money—as in billions, with a b. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts the figure in the neighborhood of $226 billion per year for productivity losses related to personal and family health problems1. In Absenteeism: the Bottom Line Killer, Circadian reports that unscheduled absenteeism costs (on average) $2650 per year for each salaried employee and $3600 per year for each hourly employee2.

There are many reasons people don’t show up to work. Illness is only one of them, but it’s one that an employer arguably has some influence over. Towers Watson study shows that organizations with wellness initiatives reduced unplanned absences by almost 20 percent3. Even simpler are some of the things you can do today to help reduce the spread of germs in the office:

  • install touchless fixtures–such as enMotion® towel and soap dispensers–in restrooms and breakrooms;
  • keep soap, sanitizer and paper towel products fully stocked;
  • educate employees on the importance of washing their hands to help reduce the spread of germs; and,
  • regularly clean the most germ-ridden surfaces in the office, including elevator buttons, door handles and frames, copy machines, break room appliances, conference tables, phones and desktops.

For an enlightening look at just how dirty different surfaces in the average office can be, download this infographic and share it with your team:Top 10 Germ Hot Spots in Your Office.

Sources
  1. http://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/businesscase/reasons/productivity.html.
  2. http://www.workforceinstitute.org/wp-content/themes/revolution/docs/Absenteeism-Bottom-Line.pdf
  3. https://www.towerswatson.com/DownloadMedia.aspx?media=%7BF71EA970-260B-4CAB-A4C9-EA53BDAED77B%7D

For more information about Absenteeism, please visit:

Allergies

Attacking Absenteeism? Start by Addressing Allergies in the Office.

Allergies are the Second Most Common Reason People Miss Work

Twenty to 50 million Americans suffer from some form of allergies, and the symptoms of allergies are the number-two reason they call in sick1.

A 2006 study posted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that over half of the 8,267 U.S. employees surveyed by the study reported experiencing allergic rhinitis symptoms, with symptoms lasting an average of 52.5 days per year. They were absent 3.6 days each year because of the condition, and were unproductive 2.3 hours per workday while experiencing symptoms. Average losses per employee per year, considering absenteeism and presenteeism (reporting to work while ill and less productive)amounted to $593—the most costly of all medical conditions evaluated by the study2.

Considering the cost of allergies, employers would be wise to mitigate the environmental factors that trigger allergic reactions and make people feel sick.

An allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to food, dust, pollen or other substances, and there are several environmental factors that can trigger allergies in the workplace3. Some of the most common include dust mites, pollens and molds. Other things like aerosols, chemical fumes, cigarette smoke, dust, fresh paint, perfumes and pet dander can trigger reactions4.

Allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes, can be exacerbated by stress in the workplace and long hours on the job. Some medications used to treat symptoms can contribute to absenteeism and lost productivity as well, particularly if they cause drowsiness for the allergy sufferer5.

To help reduce allergy triggers in your office6,7:

  • ensure proper ventilation, and change air system filters regularly;
  • maintain an indoor humidity level of less than 50 percent;
  • make sure the work area is dusted regularly;
  • clean carpets and replace them as needed, or consider removing carpets from the office; and,
  • repair any water damage that is evident.

While these measures will help curb the incidence of allergic reactions in your office, some employees will still suffer from the symptoms of allergies due to factors beyond your control. Make sure their allergies have been accurately diagnosed so additional measures may be taken, if possible, to reduce other allergy triggers that may be present in the workplace.

You can also prepare the office to help employees cope with allergies on the job, and reduce the spread of germs:

  • install touchless fixtures–such as enMotion® towel and soap dispensers–in restrooms and breakrooms;
  • keep soap, sanitizer, facial tissue and paper towel products fully stocked; and,
  • educate employees on the importance of washing their hands to help reduce the spread of germs.

For a primer on proper handwashing technique, download this infographic and share it with your team: Handwashing 101.

Sources
  1. http://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/allergies-at-work
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16846553
  3. http://www.hrtips.org/article_1.cfm?b_id=36
  4. http://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/putting-allergies-out-work
  5. http://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/putting-allergies-out-work
  6. http://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/putting-allergies-out-work
  7. http://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/allergies-at-work

For more information about Allergies, please visit:

Georgia-Pacific products that can help promote hand hygiene

To address the needs of your customers, Georgia-Pacific offers a broad range of hand hygiene solutions (soap, sanitizer, and towels) and communication tools to help address and promote hand hygiene in your facilities:

Products:

  • Hand Hygiene bundle (enMotion® brand Towel and Skin Care products) for hand washing areas near sinks
  • enMotion® Hand Sanitizer on dispenser stand(s) for high traffic areas or building lobbies (50441)
  • Georgia-Pacific 18oz Hand Sanitizer Bottles (43340) for point of use hand sanitizing
  • Georgia-Pacific 1.5fl oz Hand Sanitizer Bottles (48003) for portable hand sanitizing needs

Visit the GP HealthSmart® resource center to download material that can help educate and remind others to wash their hands regularly.

For more information about Georgia-Pacific products, visit www.gppro.com or call 1-866-HELLO GP [435-5647].