Background:Infectious illness in the workplace places a substantial cost burden on employers due to productivity losses from employee absenteeism and presenteeism.Aim:Given the clear impacts of infectious illness on workplaces, this review aimed to investigate the international literature on the effectiveness and cost-benefit of the strategies non-healthcare workplaces use to prevent and control infectious illnesses in these workplaces.Methods:MEDLINE, CINAHL Plus with Fulltext and Business Source Complete were searched concurrently using EBSCO Host 1995–2016.Findings:Infection prevention and control strategies to reduce workplace infectious illness and absenteeism evaluated in the literature include influenza vaccination programs, use of alcohol-based hand sanitiser and paid sick days. While the reported studies have various methodological flaws, there is good evidence of the effectiveness of influenza vaccination in preventing workplace infectious illness and absences and moderate evidence to support hand hygiene programs.Discussion:Some studies used more than one intervention concurrently, making it difficult to determine the relative benefit of each individual strategy. Workplace strategies to prevent and control infectious illness transmission may reduce costs and productivity losses experienced by businesses and organisations related to infectious illness absenteeism and presenteeism.
Journal of Infection Prevention – SAGE
Published: May 1, 2018
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