4.5 staff work days are lost each year as a result of sickness and ill health. Minor illnesses (such as coughs and colds) were the most common reason for sickness absence.
Prevention is better than cure and even more so during this crucial time of the year, therefore an awareness on how you can reduce staff sickness and absence could be the key difference for you being ‘Winter Ready’ this year. What could reclaiming staff sick days mean to your bottom line?
Here are some our top tips for reducing staff absence this winter
Top Tips on Reducing Staff Absence This Winter
A simple tip is to advise staff to have their cars serviced or checked. Tyre treads and pressures are important when roads are wet, frosty and slippery so a simple check could mean the difference between staff arriving at work on time or phoning in to say they can’t make it as they’ve had an accident or their car won’t start. Some companies are now bringing in mobile car mechanics to visit work premises to undertake these checks free of charge as the cost saving is more than covered by reduced staff absence.
2. Slips and Trips
Clean surfaces on approaches to the workplace. A simple but effective ways of preventing those slips and trips.
3. Wash Hands
Washing hands often – and drying them on disposable paper towels (or laundering hand towels regularly) – can significantly reduce the chances of catching a virus, especially the rotavirus, which tends to infect children and causes vomiting and diarrhoea.
- Reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 31%
- Reduces diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58%
- Reduces respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by 16-21%
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Lack of sleep makes us more prone to infection. Moods also affect our ability to fight off infections, and if you feel stressed you are more likely to become ill compared to when you’re feeling buoyant, happy and relaxed.
One large 2-week study monitored the development of the common cold after giving people nasal drops with the virus that causes colds .They found that those who slept less than 7 hours were almost three times more likely to develop a cold than those who slept 8 hours or more.
If you often get colds, ensuring that you get at least 8 hours of sleep per night could be very helpful. Make sure your staff are awaren
5. Importance of Keeping Active
Don’t underestimate the importance of regular activity, especially in winter. Apart from keeping our circulation going, regular moderate exercise increases the number of natural killer (NK) cells in our bodies.’ These lymphocytes in the bloodstream and the mucosal layer of the nose and airways travel around our bodies scavenging foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. When you exercise, NK levels go up and stay elevated for about 36 hours afterwards.
6. Heating System Working
When was was boiler last serviced? You don’t staff making to work then picking up colds or having to be sent home as the boiler isn’t working. Make sure it’s been serviced recently