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Preventing Infections at Work

Illnesses like the flu (influenza) and colds are caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. The flu and colds usually spread from person to person when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air and are deposited on the mouth or nose of people nearby.Sometimes germs can also be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets from another person on a surface like a desk and then touches his or her own eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands. We know that some viruses and bacteria can live two hours or longer on surfaces like cafeteria tables, doorknobs and desks.

How to stop the spread of germs at work

  • Put up posters in the bathrooms and lunchrooms that explain proper handwashing technique.
  • Encourage employees to stay at home when they are sick.
  • Promote an active and stress-free work environment. Healthy employees are more likely to stay healthy during flu season and all year long


Read tips on how to prevent infectious disease and how to protect others from infection.