Kathleen Sebelius, sworn in as U.S. Health and Human Services secretary April 29, 2009

New Federal Flu Guidelines Out for Employers

Three cabinet secretaries, including HHS' Kathleen Sebelius, urged businesses to plan for absences, encourage employees to be vaccinated, and ensure critical operations are not interrupted.

Three secretaries of federal cabinet departments, HHS' Kathleen Sebelius, Commerce's Gary Locke, and DHS's Janet Napolitano, announced the release of new federal pandemic flu guidelines for businesses and urged employers to prepare without delay. "The health care system very likely will be stress during this year's flu season," Locke said, adding that companies should be planning now for continuity of operations with a depleted workforce, including cross-training and making preparations for telecommuting, taking steps to reduce face-to-face meetings, and possibly reducing travel.

Sebelius mentioned the H1N1 vaccines now in development should be available beginning around Oct. 15. She asked employers to focus on hands and home -- hand cleanliness, in the first instance, and also going home or staying home if you exhibit flu-like symptoms. All three secretaries noted seasonal flu is also a concern this fall, and they urged employers to encourage their workers to be vaccinated.

Sebelius listed five H1N1 "target population groups" for whom vaccination is particularly important: adults with underlying medical conditions, pregnant women, young people up to age 24, health care workers, and parents and guardians of infants.

"Protection from the flu is a shared responsibility," Napolitano said. "From a business perspective, planning is essential. Think through this: It's not just seasonal flu. We are proactive at the [federal government] level where we are at, but we're asking the business community to be proactive, too."

Industrial Hygiene Product Showcase

  • Halo™ Eye/Face Wash Provides Greatest Washdown

    Halo™ Eye/Face Wash Provides Greatest Washdown

    Bradley’s Halo™ eye and eye/face wash arms users with the most effective emergency relief available in the industry. Halo provides 20 percent better protection than any other model on the market. With a more uniform and complete spray pattern distribution, and exclusive features that increase hygiene, users attain the greatest contaminant relief and protection available. Using the latest technology in fluid dynamics, Halo works in tandem with a pressure regulated flow control and the spinning motion of water, which creates an optimal spray pattern to rinse off contaminants quickly and thoroughly, ensuring the most effective flush available. 3

  • Moldex Airwave Disposable Respirators

    Moldex Airwave Disposable Respirators

    Say hello to the N95 mask that is so comfortable and easy breathing, it can positively impact worker productivity and happiness on the job. The AirWave’s proprietary pleated design makes breathing easier and comes in multiple sizes with an adjustable strap for a customizable fit. Airwaves also have an ultra-tough Dura-Mesh® shell that resists collapse even in the hottest and most humid conditions. They have a metal-free molded nose bridge that seals easily without a metal noseband for added protection and comfort. It’s official: AirWave is a difference you can feel. 3

  • Altec Sentry

    Altec Sentry

    Altec’s commitment to safety extends beyond the investments we make in designing and manufacturing equipment. Keeping crews safe on the job is important to us. For nearly 20 years, Altec Sentry has helped employees train and certify Altec equipment operators on safe and proper operation. We are committed to your safety and believe that industry-leading equipment deserves industry-leading training. That’s exactly what Altec Sentry provides. Altec Sentry has a unique array of training options designed to help employers qualify their operators to safely operate and properly maintain Altec equipment. We also provide preparatory courses and practical examinations for National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) crane and digger derrick operator certifications. 3