Online Safety Community

More Companies Should Be Preparing for an Influenza Pandemic

Cross-posted from: http://safetyphoenix.blogspot.com

From: http://online.wsj.com
Few companies have made preparing for a potential influenza pandemic a top priority. Perhaps more of them should. The World Economic Forum earlier this year put the adverse economic impact of an influenza pandemic at around $500 billion. That was before the recent outbreak of swine flu sickened more than 28,000 people world-wide, leading the World Health Organization on June 11 to declare its first pandemic in 41 years. While WHO officials emphasized that most of the people infected so far have experienced mild symptoms and recovered quickly, they say the outbreak could become more serious.

Much of the cost associated with a pandemic involving a more virulent strain of flu would stem from employee absenteeism. It is estimated that 15% to 30% of employees would stay home during such a pandemic due to illness, family-care responsibilities and fear of being infected at work. The result would be to cripple operations and disrupt global supply chains. As in the credit crisis, the fallout likely would spread rapidly because of how connected the world’s economies are.

The good news is that employee absenteeism—and its financial toll on employers—may be controlled to a large extent with adequate planning and stockpiling of antiviral medication, masks and gowns.

The bad news is that few companies have taken steps to protect themselves. A 2007 survey reported at a Harvard Business School conference on pandemic planning found that while 88% of companies seemed prepared to deal with a power disruption and 70% with a technological failure, only 13% were prepared for the kind of labor-force disruption that would come with a pandemic....

Being unprepared carries potential risks, even legal ones....read more here.

Talk of pandemic preparedness within the safety community has slowed to a trickle. While the current H1N1 Pandemic is a mild one, this is the perfect time to get plans in place. The H1N1 has already begun to mutate (see http://www.medicalnewstoday.com). There are many companies still without a pandemic preparedness plan. I previously blogged about how to write one here, including some excellent resources: Swine Flu and Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace - Part II. Now is the time to make sure we all have that Pandemic Preparedness Plan in place.

Views: 13

Comment

You need to be a member of Online Safety Community to add comments!

Join Online Safety Community

Comment by Safetyguy08 on June 24, 2009 at 12:07pm
I have talked about this a couple of times in my blog. As a distributor of safety supplies we are really worried about how companies will suddenly, when the flu hits again in the fall, start calling like crazy to get masks, gloves and wipes like they did when it first hit. Manufacturers are gearing up and getting prepared because they know it's coming but companies ought to be thinking about purchasing these items now so that they have them when they need them instead of waiting till the last minute and then no having what they need till it's maybe too late and half the company is infected.

Take our poll!

Take our poll!

Latest Activity

Profile IconJC Smith, Shannon Case, Billy and 2 more joined Online Safety Community
15 hours ago
Nakul Pratap posted a video

Command Words for NEBOSH Exam

Nebosh Command Words a Detailed look http://greenwgroup.com/
15 hours ago
kate smith posted a blog post

Understanding payroll fraud and preventing it

Payroll fraud is a matter of serious concern to the people affected by it, the organization in which it happens, and to the economy overall. It is estimated that payroll fraud is involved in around an eighth of all workplace frauds and makes up about a twelfth of all occupational frauds…See More
15 hours ago
John Robinson posted an event
Thumbnail

Seminar Calendar of Upcoming Courses - June to July - 2017 at Los Angeles, CA

June 1, 2017 at 9am to July 29, 2017 at 10pm
GlobalCompliancePanel’s seminars are a wonderful opportunity for professionals in the regulatory compliance areas to understand the latest happenings and updates in the regulatory compliance areas and to implement them, something they need to climb in their professions. GlobalCompliancePanel brings together a few of the best recognized names in the field of regulatory compliance on its panel of experts. The result: Learning that is effective, valuable and helpful. GlobalCompliancePanel’s…See More
15 hours ago

Forum

What's your favorite motivational/safety quote? 98 Replies

Favorite Motivational Quote: If you want something, you'll find a way - If not, you'll find an excuse.Favorite Safety Quote: Don't learn safety by accident!Continue

Started by Michelle Sears. Last reply by David R Snell Apr 26.

Feedback on a injury prevention product we're building.

Hi everyone!For full transparency ill tell you a little about myself and what I hope to accomplish. My name is Zuber and I'm an engineering student who founded a startup helping to build wearable…Continue

Tags: product, prevention, injury, back, safety

Started by Zuber Ahmed Apr 24.

Best overall personal safety book? 1 Reply

What do you think is  the best all-in-one book out there for optimizing personal safety and the safety of one's family?  Right now I have …Continue

Started by David R Snell. Last reply by David R Snell Apr 21.

Fire codes for residential buildings

Hi,Can anybody kindly give me a hint how to find Fire Codes for residential buildings in different cities in the United States?Continue

Started by Darren Asad Apr 14.

OSHA and Machine Guard Door Safety???

We have what we feel is not a unique situation and were wondering if anyone might of run across this challenge and know more about the requirements.  We are building a small machine system that…Continue

Tags: electric, osha, air, door, interlocked

Started by Scott V Mar 24.

Badge

Loading…

© 2017   Created by Safety Community.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service