Flu season is in full charge, and its wreaking havoc in workplaces across the United States.
December, January and February are peak months for flu activity, and the illness currently is widespread across at least 24 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Because of the severity of the flu this year, taking steps to protect employees against an outbreak is crucial to keep the workplace functional.
"Businesses should be proactive in helping keep workers and customers safe from getting the flu virus by taking steps to help prevent the spread of germs in their facilities," sais Adam Soreff, director of marketing and communications at UniFirst Corp., in a statement. "This is the time of year when our facility service and hygiene programs see a marked increase in demand for such items as alcohol-based hand sanitizers, like Purell, anti-bacterial hand soaps, disinfecting cleaning products, hands-free soap and paper dispensers, and touch-free faucets and flushers."
The CDC states the flu's direct cost to businesses at $7 billion in sick days and lost productivity with an estimated 17 million workdays lost.
UniFirst has provided recommendations to help prevent work environments from becoming a breeding ground for germs that can cause the flu and other seasonal illnesses.