Course 138 Workplace Hygiene and Illness Prevention

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Disease Prevention

What is Disease Prevention?

Disease prevention are the measures taken to stop disease from occurring. Action is taken to reduce risk factors for becoming ill. Taking the primary measures of disease prevention can protect yourself and others from becoming ill. Preventing the spread of infectious diseases requires infection-control methods that will be laid out later in this module. Some of these procedures include washing your hands and keeping workspaces clean.

Methods of disease prevention include:

  • Communication: Raise awareness about healthy behaviors to prevent the spread of disease.
  • Keep up to date on vaccinations.
  • Practice good hygiene.

1. Taking the primary measures of disease prevention can ______.

a. make workspaces dirty
b. help spread disease in the workplace
c. protect yourself and others from becoming ill
d. stop diseases from occurring

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receiving a vaccine
Vaccines help your body build an immunity to a disease before you get sick. Click to enlarge.

Immunization is one of the most cost-effective public health interventions to date, averting an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year. Vaccines are one of the greatest public health achievements. Vaccines help your body build an immunity to a disease before you get sick. They contain traces of an agent or an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism. This allows your body to detect the invading pathogens and produce antibodies to fight them. Vaccines help build up your immune system. It is important to get vaccinated to help protect yourself and those around you. The health and life expectancy of populations have improved since the development of vaccines.

Note: It is important to consult your healthcare provider regarding your immunization status.

Examples of illnesses that vaccines help prevent include:

  • Influenza (flu) – Flu Vaccine
  • Measles – MMR Vaccine
  • Pertussis (Whooping Cough) – DTaP and Tdap Vaccines
  • Varicella (Chicken Pox) – VAR Vaccine
  • Hepatitis B – HepB Vaccine

2. Vaccines help build up your _____.

a. immune system
b. sickness
c. antibodies
d. life expectancy

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Feeling Sick?

Did you wake up feeling sick? Can’t get out of bed? If you are feeling any symptoms of illness, it might be a good idea to stay home. Do not go into work if you are sick. If you are sick and go to work, you increase the time your body needs to recover. You will also put those at your workplace at risk for getting sick.

If you are at work and begin to feel sick, it is advisable to go home. If you are unable to get any work done or concentrate on work due to being sick, ask to go home. This will also reduce the risk of spreading your illness to others in your workplace.

The primary goal of identifying signs of illness is to help individuals prevent or reduce the spread of illness in the workplace.

3. Reina is sick at work and can’t concentrate on her work. What should she do in this situation?

a. Power through the day
b. Take a short nap at her desk then continue doing work
c. Stay and try to complete any work
d. Ask to go home

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Healthy Practices to Prevent Illness in the Workplace

handwashing with soap
Wash hands often and thoroughly. Click to enlarge.

Minimizing the spread of infectious diseases in the workplace is important. Minimizing the spread keeps staff safe and well at work. An infectious disease in the workplace is a workplace hazard.

Healthy practices to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in the workplace include:

  • Wash hands often and thoroughly. As stated earlier in this course, hand hygiene is a primary measure for reducing the risk of transmitting infection from person-to-person.
  • Keep workspaces and frequently touched surfaces clean. Pathogens can live on some surfaces for up to three days. Doorknobs and refrigerator handles are some of the most frequently touched surfaces. It is important to keep surfaces clean to prevent the spread of pathogens in the workplace.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes. Cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than into your hands.
  • Avoid touching your face. Pathogens can enter your body through your eyes, nose, and mouth. Hand-to-face contact occurs approximately 16 times per hour. Touching your face can increase the risk of becoming ill.
  • Be prepared and informed. For example, individuals usually get the flu vaccination during flu season to reduce the risk of getting ill.

4. What should you do if you need to cough or sneeze?

a. Cough or sneeze into my elbow
b. Cough or sneeze into my hand
c. Try to hold it in
d. Make sure no one is near so I can turn around and cough/sneeze

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