Employers and employees should always practice good personal hygiene measures – use a disposable tissue to control coughs/sneezes, dispose of it appropriately and wash your hands before eating, drinking etc. In addition at the current time you should:
For further information about swine flu please visit the Health Protection Agency (HPA) website.
The number of people in public places who are displaying symptoms is likely to be limited. Therefore it should not be necessary for workers to wear facemasks routinely when in contact with the general public.
For certain occupations and activities where there is an increased likelihood of exposure (e.g.,healthcare workers), HSE’s guidance is that fluid-repellent surgical face masks offer a barrier to minimise contact with the mouth and nose but do not offer protection against aerosols.
For further information about how to decide when facemasks might be required in the workplace, and how to use and safely dispose of them, go to the Department of Health website: Pandemic flu guidance for businesses.
Confirmed human cases of emerging new 'swine' strain of influenza have been reported in Mexico, Canada, Spain and the United States of America. Two confirmed cases have also been reported in Scotland. As a public health issue, the primary contact point and source for information on health is the Health Protection Agency. Further information and contact details are available on the Health Protection Agency website.
HSE has been, and continues to be, actively working with Government departments and agencies in preparing for these circumstances. HSE is responsible for workplace and workforce issues and therefore stands ready to offer information and advice as required.