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Employers and employees advised to take precautionary measures against influenza

     The Labour Department has advised employers and employees to take precautionary measures for the prevention of influenza. A spokesman for the Labour Department said today (January 25) it was of the utmost importance that employers and employees should stay vigilant in guarding against the risk of influenza at workplaces, as a healthy and safe workplace was in both their interests.

     The spokesman reminded the public, particularly employers and employees, to take appropriate precautions.

     People are advised to take the following measures:

* Maintain good ventilation at the workplace, such as well-maintained air-conditioning system, or open as many windows as possible for better ventilation;
* Disinfect commonly-used equipment with diluted solution of household bleach (1 part bleach: 99 parts water) when necessary;
* Keep the workplace, particularly the floor, carpets, doors, windows and ventilation systems, clean;
* Ensure toilet facilities are properly maintained; and
* Provide liquid soap, disposable towels and a hand-dryer in toilets.

     To enhance personal hygiene, employees are advised to:

* Keep hands clean and wash hands properly. Alcohol-based handrub is also effective when hands are not visibly soiled;
* Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth;
* Wash hands with liquid soap promptly if they are dirtied by respiratory secretions, such as after sneezing or coughing;
* Cover nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing;
* Abstain from spitting. Always wrap nasal and mouth discharges with tissue paper, and dispose of the tissue paper properly in a lidded rubbish bin;
* Wear mask when symptoms of respiratory tract infection or fever develop. Seek medical advice promptly; and
* Refrain from work if develop symptoms of influenza.

     Employers are advised to:

* Ensure that the workplace is kept clean and hygienic;
* Provide adequate and proper face masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment when necessary. Ensure that the workers are using such personal protective equipment properly;
* Communicate the relevant health advice and guidelines to employees;
* Remind staff of the importance of good personal hygiene;
* Remind employees to consult a doctor in case of fever or cough, and not to go to work in case of fever or as advised by the doctor; and
* Develop contingency plans for keeping the workforce safe and secure as far as practicable.

     For further information on influenza, please call the 24-Hour Health Education Hotline of the Department of Health on 2833 0111 or visit the Centre for Health Protection's website . For information on influenza preparedness, please refer to the "What employers/enterprises should know about influenza preparedness", published by the Centre for Health Protection.

Ends/Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Issued at HKT 12:33


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