Navigation Links
Employers took many measures to protect employees and avoid business impact of H1N1 flu outbreak
Date:6/22/2010

Boston, MA In response to the H1N1 flu, most employees at U.S. businesses say their company took measures to protect them from illness, such as encouraging sick employees to stay home, according to a national poll of employees by researchers from the Harvard Opinion Research Program at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). Smaller, but notable, percentages of employees reported that their company took other actions such as creating back-up systems for employees to cover each others' work and expanding leave policies.

The poll was conducted April 21 to May 13, 2010 among a nationally representative sample of 1,491 employees from private sector businesses outside of education and health who employ 20 or more persons.

"These results suggest that in a future contagious disease outbreak, many businesses will try to adapt their policies to mitigate the impact on employees, with most adopting protective precautions, such as encouraging sick workers to stay home, and a minority taking other important measures, such as expanding sick leave policies," said Robert J. Blendon, Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis at HSPH and director of the Harvard Opinion Research Program (HORP).

Concerning responses recommended by public health officials, most employees (81%) reported that their companies provided hand sanitizer, alcohol-based hand rub or hand-washing stations to reduce the spread of H1N1 at the workplace. A similar percentage (80%) said their companies encouraged employees to stay home from work if they were sick with flu-like symptoms.

Some 60% of employees reported that their company encouraged them to get the H1N1 vaccine. According to employees' reports, large companies, those with 500 or more employees, were more likely than medium (100 to 499 employees) or smaller (20 to 99 employees) companies to do this (66% v. 54% and 48%, respectively).

"Businesses can be a vital public health partner with health authorities during an outbreak," said Gillian K. Steelfisher, Research Scientist in the HSPH Department of Health Policy and Management and a member of the polling team. "Public health officials at federal, state and local levels should develop plans that specifically bring educational materials and preventive measures into the workplace."

A majority of employees, 77%, said their company provided them with information about how to keep H1N1 flu from spreading between employees at the workplace. Again, large companies were more likely than medium-sized companies (100 to 499 employees) or smaller companies (20 to 99 employees) to have provided this information (83% v. 72% and 65%, respectively).

More than a third of employees reported that their company provided them with information about changes to leave policies that would make it easier for them to stay home from work because they were sick (42%), because a family member was sick (38%), or because their children's school closed (36%). Similar percentages of employees reported that their company created a back-up system for someone to cover their work if they got sick (42%) or trained them to cover for someone else if they got sick or had to be absent due to H1N1 (36%).

Most employees (81%) reported that their company was prepared for the H1N1 outbreak (44% "very prepared," 37% "somewhat prepared"). Employees at large companies, with 500 or more employees, were more likely than employees at small companies, those with 20 to 99 employees, to say this (85% v. 73%).

Half of all employees (50%) say that this outbreak of H1N1 has made their company more prepared for a possible future outbreak of a serious, contagious illness.

About one in five (21%) employees got the H1N1 vaccine, mirroring rates in the general population. However, vaccination rates were significantly higher among employees whose companies encouraged them to get the vaccine than among employees whose companies did not do this (29% v. 9%).

A prior survey from HORP looked at business preparedness for H1N1:

"Four-Fifths of Businesses Foresee Severe Problems Maintaining Operations If Significant H1N1 Flu Outbreak," September 9, 2009

Others polls of the public concerning the H1N1 flu outbreak undertaken by the Harvard Opinion Research Program (HORP) at HSPH are listed below:

"Nearly Half of Americans Believe H1N1 Outbreak is Over, Poll Finds," February 5, 2010

"Poll Finds Three Quarters of Parents Who Tried to Get H1N1 Vaccine for Their Children Have Gotten It," December 22, 2009

"Poll: Travelers Taking Significantly More Precautions Against H1N1 and Seasonal Flu on Trips This Year," December 10, 2009

"Poll Finds Two-thirds of Parents and High-priority Adults Who Tried to Get H1N1 Vaccine Were Unable to Get It," November 6, 2009.

"Survey Finds Just 40% of Adults Absolutely Certain They Will Get H1N1 Vaccine," October 2, 2009

"National Survey Finds Six in Ten Americans Believe Serious Outbreak of Influenza A (H1N1) Likely in Fall/Winter," July 15, 2009

"Survey Finds Many Americans Have Taken Steps to Protect Themselves Against H1N1," May 8, 2009

"Survey Finds Nearly Half of Americans Concerned They Or Their Family May Get Sick from Swine Flu," May 1, 2009.

Methodology

This poll is part of a series of surveys focused on the public's response to public health emergencies by the Harvard Opinion Research Program (HORP) at Harvard School of Public Health. The study was designed and analyzed by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). The project director is Robert J. Blendon of the Harvard School of Public Health. The research team also includes Gillian K. SteelFisher, John M. Benson, Kathleen J. Weldon, Mark M. Bekheit and Robin C. Herman of the Harvard School of Public Health, as well as Melissa J. Herrmann of SSRS/ICR, an independent research company. Interviews were conducted via telephone (including both landline and cell phone) for HORP by SSRS/ICR of Media (PA) April 21 through May 13, 2010 among a nationally representative sample of 1,491 respondents age 18 and older, who work at least 35 hours a week at a single primary workplace, excluding those who are self-employed, those working at companies with less than 20 employees, and those working in the fields of education, health, emergency care or first responder services, and government. The margin of error for total respondents is +/-3.30% at the 95% confidence level.

Possible sources of non-sampling error include non-response bias, as well as question wording and ordering effects. Non-response in telephone surveys produces some known biases in survey-derived estimates because participation tends to vary for different subgroups of the population. To compensate for these known biases, sample data are weighted to the most recent Census data available from the Current Population Survey for gender, age, race, education, region, and company size. Other techniques, including random-digit dialing, replicate subsamples, and systematic respondent selection within households, are used to ensure that the sample is representative.


'/>"/>

Contact: Robin Herman
rherman@hsph.harvard.edu
617-432-4752
Harvard School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. IBI Data Offers Solutions to Help Employers Manage Short-term Disability
2. Allegheny Medical's Occupational Health Services Helps Employers Build a Healthier Workforce
3. Replicon Recognized Among Best Employers for New Canadians
4. Employers Sceptical of Government's Fit Notes Initiative
5. Free Seminars to Help Employers Prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Among Workers Set for Phoenix, Reno, Salt Lake City, Denver in May
6. Doctors Support Efforts of Employers and Health Plans to Improve Health of Patients
7. Blood Draw Dilemma: New Summit Health Article Helps Employers Choose the Best Screening Method
8. Employers Voice Opinions on Health Care Plans, Gain Insights on Health Care Reform
9. Obesity Action Coalition Calls on Insurers and Employers to Increase Access to Childhood Obesity Treatments Based on Recent United States Preventative Task Force Recommendations
10. COBRAGuard Offers Free Action Plan Webinar to Assist Employers with COBRA Subsidy Extension
11. Ceridian Web Forum to Prepare Employers for Health Care Reform
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... 08, 2016 , ... ZyDoc , a New York-based ... Data Capture Methods for Input to Electronic Health Records: A Comparative Usability Study” ... comparative usability study demonstrate that a dictation-based method (“NLP Entry”) using ZyDoc’s MediSapien™ ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... CURE Media Group, the nation’s leading digital and ... with Upstage Lung Cancer in efforts to combat lung cancer, announced CURE Media Group ... said, “CURE Media Group is honored to team up with Upstage Lung Cancer in ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Premier Fitness Camp (PFC) and The Chopra Center for Wellbeing ... wellness program, at their world headquarters of Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in ... anyone seeking weight loss, personal development, a healthy lifestyle, or mental and physical healing. ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... development solutions for drugs, biologics and consumer health products, today announced that it ... up in 2006 as a non-profit organization to unite pharmaceutical and healthcare companies ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... ... California Senate Bill (SB) 863, signed into law in 2012, may have ... according to CompScope™ Medical Benchmarks for California, 17th Edition , a study by ... payments per claim in California decreased 4 percent in 2013 and then 3 percent ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016 Dignitana, a world leader ... with Boa® Technology, creator of the award-winning, patented Boa® ... use with the DigniCap® scalp cooling system. DigniCap® was ... December 2015, and is the first medical scalp cooling ... scalp cooling system features a patented tight-fitting silicone cooling ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... in the United States will continue in 2017, say ... December 2016 Semiannual Economic Forecast. Expectations are for a ... as indicated in the monthly ISM ® ... is optimistic about growth in 2017, with revenues expected ... sector indicates that 14 of its industries will see ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016 According to a new market research ... Fetal), Therapeutic (Pain, Insulin)), End Use (Sports, Fitness, RPM), Type (Smart watch, ... the global market, in terms of value, is projected to reach 12.14 ... of 18.0% during the forecast period. Continue ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: