Preparing Workplaces For H1N1 Influenza Is Focus Of Upcoming OSHA Forum

Washington, DC (CompNewsNetwork) - Public health officials are concerned the H1N1 (swine) influenza virus has begun its fall return and will likely cause widespread illness. To help employers prepare for the potential impact this virus could have on their workplaces, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is presenting a forum, "Workplace Preparedness: How Small Businesses Can Prepare for H1N1 Influenza," Sept. 30, 2009.

Expert panelists will discuss the differences between seasonal and pandemic influenza and explore work practices that employers can adopt to prevent the spread of the virus. Panelists will also examine strategies for assessing workplace exposure, communicating risks to workers and planning for a more severe influenza pandemic. Additionally, participants will receive guidance on continuing operations if a business experiences staff absenteeism.

"The H1N1 virus could have a major impact on the nation during the flu season," said acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab. "Planning is critical, and this forum underscores the importance of employers taking the necessary steps to protect workers from this threat."

OSHA's Office of Small Business Assistance annually hosts a series of small business forums that foster a more direct dialogue between OSHA, the small business community and federal government entities regarding safety and health management issues.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's men and women by setting and enforcing standards; and providing training, outreach and education.

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