- A study found that fewer than one in five construction workers participates in voluntary flu vaccinations, making it the lowest rate of worker vaccinations across all industries.
- The U.S. Center for Disease Control says it’s a myth that the flu shot gives you the flu. The CDC also says while it’s possible you may still contract the flu with a flu shot, your symptoms will be diminished.
- It’s important to stay home when you have the flu since it’s highly contagious. Also, fatigue associated with the flu can affect decision-making ability and reaction time, as well as increase the tendency for risk-taking, errors, and accidents.
Construction workers are less likely to get a flu shot
Contracting the flu can result in missed work and health complications. Getting a flu vaccination reduces the risk of all of this. Average vaccination rates vary by industry, occupation, and state. In a study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, researchers found that the lowest rates of vaccination—less than 19 percent—were among workers in the construction industry.
The flu shot won’t give you the flu
According to the CDC, it’s a myth that the flu shot gives you the flu. Vaccines are either made with flu viruses that have been killed and are no longer infectious, or with only a single gene from a flu virus to produce an immune reaction without causing the virus.
You can still get the flu after being vaccinated, but you won’t be as sick as you might have been without the shot. The vaccine reduces the risk of contracting the virus by 40 percent to 60 percent.
The CDC also recommends getting the vaccine every year. Although the viruses the vaccine protects against may not change every year, a person’s immune protection from the vaccine will slowly decline, making a yearly vaccination necessary.
This year’s flu season is in full swing
This year’s flu vaccine has been updated to better match the virus that’s circulating. There are several vaccines for the 2018–2019 season, so it’s best to ask your doctor which vaccination they recommend.
It’s best to get a flu shot before the virus begins spreading. It takes around two weeks after getting the shot for the antibodies to develop in the body. The CDC recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October. However, getting your flu shot later can still be beneficial. While flu season typically runs from October to March, it usually peaks in February.
Does your occupation affect your chances of contracting the virus?
The flu virus is highly contagious, and the contagious period begins immediately after infection. People who go to work while infected expose their co-workers and anyone else they encounter to their virus. Therefore, the nature of your workplace can affect your chances of contracting the flu.
When workers start calling in sick with the flu, projects can get behind schedule.
A CDC study revealed that construction workers were less likely than the average U.S. worker to be hospitalized because of the flu. Although this is great news for the construction industry, it in no way suggests that they’re immune. Practicing good hygiene and setting up flu vaccination policies in the workplace are effective ways to minimize spreading of the flu.
Construction business owners should take an interest in keeping their workers healthy
No boss likes to get the phone call that an employee is sick. Construction projects have strict schedules and deadlines; when workers start calling in sick with the flu, projects can get behind schedule. Influenza—and the fever and fatigue that comes with it—can also cloud workers’ judgment, causing them to make costly mistakes. Fatigue can affect decision-making ability and reaction time.
Moreover, it can increase the tendency for risk-taking, errors in judgment, and accidents. As a construction business owner, it’s important to develop a workplace wellness program to promote employee health. The flu is one of the costliest yet most preventable illnesses for businesses.
When should you stay home?
Flu symptoms typically start with the “hit by a truck” feeling, leaving you bedridden and exhausted. People sometimes confuse the flu with a common cold, but unlike the common cold that comes on slowly, the flu tends to hit you all at once. Symptoms include sneezing, stuffy nose, body aches, coughing, and chills.
Fever is common with the flu, and when you have a fever, you’re more likely to be contagious.
Fever is also common with the flu, and when you have a fever, you’re more likely to be contagious. It’s important to stay home when you have the flu since it’s highly contagious. You should stay home for as long as you have a fever and 24 hours after your fever has gone away naturally.
Construction companies can take action against the flu
Flu season can be rough, yet there are ways to help protect your employees and, at the same, your business. Construction business owners can provide flu vaccinations for their employees by partnering with local hospitals or other health-related organizations. Hosting an on-site flu clinic can save your company hundreds of dollars by keeping your employees healthy, productive, and present. Without the convenience of an on-site clinic, employees may be less likely to get vaccinated.