January 31, 2020 – Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council is following the data about coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV. NSC urges employers – particularly those in the healthcare sector, those with employees who travel internationally and those in the international travel industry – to assess their risk of exposure and ensure procedures are in place to effectively control transmission. Workplace illness prevention training is imperative for all employees, and employers should provide it.

NSC Statement on Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV

In relation to 2019-nCoV, NSC echoes recommendations from OSHA and CDC, which include:

  • Practice proper infection control and sterilization measures
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water; if soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick, and see a doctor immediately to be evaluated for 2019-nCoV
  • If a worker becomes infected, insist that he or she fully recovers before returning to work
  • Employees who have traveled to areas with heightened levels of exposure should inform their employers immediately
  • Avoid sending staff on business trips to China, where the virus originated and has yet to be contained; the U.S. State Department is advising against all travel to China

The safety of workers is employers’ most vital task. For more information on preventing 2019-nCoV, go to cdc.gov, OSHA.gov and who.int.

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