Why are pandemic plans necessary?
A pandemic is where a virus spreads around the world from person to person at great speed. Even if the germ itself only causes a relatively harmless condition, the consequences can still be considerable. In next to no time, a large number of people fall ill or have to miss work to care for sick relatives. This in turn can result in staff shortages and even have serious consequences for business agreements among other things. Putting measures in place in advance is the best way to protect yourself and your employees in case of a pandemic.
Conduct during pandemics
Hygienic conduct is incredibly important in the case of a pandemic. Whether it’s a cold or the flu: Health is best protected by keeping your hands away from your face and washing them regularly. Hands should always be washed thoroughly. You can also reduce the risk of catching something by staying away from people who are coughing. Rooms should be ventilated about four times a day for approximately ten minutes each time. Early warning signs of sickness should be taken seriously – people with a fever or other acute symptoms should best stay at home.
The disease can be treated there carefully – with the help of a doctor if necessary. The same applies in your own four walls and in public places: Keep your distance from others and cough into your elbow crease, not your hand – this is the most effective way to avoid the unintentional transmission of viruses.
Corporate pandemic plan
Pandemics raise a number of questions which all need to be answered quickly. As such, it is best to have a corporate pandemic plan in place before the event even occurs. The plan specifies contact partners in the company, regulates conduct in the worst case scenario and provides answers to the most important questions. When should employees stay at home or at least work from home? What hygiene measures should be observed? And how are they communicated?
Corresponding regulations provide the necessary security – not just in large corporations, but in SMEs too. In such cases, in particular, a pandemic plan initiated in good time can help to minimise the risks to the business and reduce possible shortages. The general rule of thumb is: Ensure that washrooms are equipped appropriately and that you have a sufficient stock of the necessary hygiene materials (soap, towels, disinfectants).
Companies should consult hygiene experts when developing professional corporate pandemic plans. In addition to public institutions, you also have the expertise of the CWS specialist advisers and independent doctors at your disposal.
For example, TÜV Rheinland's Arbeitsmedizinische Dienste GmbH offers personalised corporate pandemic plans tailored to your specific company. The experts are also available to you and your employees by telephone for competent advice concerning all relevant questions about health.
Companies should also put the expertise of the company doctor to good use. As a health expert, he or she informs the workers of safety measures, administers vaccinations and raises employee awareness of how to act in case of a pandemic in good time. In the worst case scenario, he or she, as a member of the crisis team, is responsible for compiling information on the status of the pandemic as well as being your direct contact partner for all hygiene questions.
The German Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) and State Health Agency for Baden-Württemberg have placed a free handbook on corporate pandemic plans on the Internet. You can download it here. The handbook serves as a guide for the compilation of your own pandemic plan tailored to the specific requirements of your company.
Do you have questions concerning corporate pandemic plans? Do you need advice on the topic of disease prevention? Or do you need help equipping your corporate washrooms? The CWS specialist advisers will be happy to help!