We’ve been seeing a huge uptick in West Nile Virus with the highest number of cases being reported since it appeared in the United States. All but three states (Alaska, Hawaii and Vermont) have found the virus in mosquitos, birds or people. If you have employees working outside, make sure to share some sort of communication with them about symptoms and ideas to avoid getting the virus.
You want your employees to know and understand what they can do to lessen their chances of getting sick. Ignoring it and hoping your employees aren’t noticing the outbreak won’t help. Being proactive and giving them ideas to avoid mosquitos will help keep your employees healthy. Here are a few ideas to share with them:
1. Add insect repellent to the inventory on each truck. Encourage workers to use it and ask for more if they run out.
2. Offer insect repellent clothing. I found a great site with options specifically for oil and gas workersthat even offer flame resistant options. The technology is called permethrinand you can buy that separate and suggest employees spray it on their clothes. I stole this idea from one of the companies we work with in NY. They were explaining this product to their staff at a safety meeting…what a great idea!
3. The worst times for mosquitos are at dawn and dusk, especially when next to a body of water. If employees are out at these times encourage them to wear long sleeves and long pants. Suggest that they spray their hat and hard hat with bug spray!
For more information SHRM published a more detailed article “West Nile Virus Spreading Across U.S.” Don’t forget to tell your employees to share this information with their families.
Originally published at: http://uecubenefit.uecu.org/