Is your handshake sanitary?

By Christel Phillips - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Everyday at your workplace you risk being exposed.

"You could just innocently flick something off your face and transfer that germ," said RN Norma Sanford, Director of Nursing for the Lufkin Memorial Hospital.

And, since a simple handshake can transfers germs, some businesses are opting to eliminate the gesture at the workplace, to prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus.

"It's nothing personal obviously, but as a society we're having to change our behaviors regarding courtesy," explains Sanford.

But HR Specialist, Dahlia Tusa with Etech, Inc., in Nacogdoches, said it is optional to managers if they want to give handshakes. But, with 500 plus employed with the company, they are not taking any chances.

"We have made it mandatory that before they walk onto the floor they are required to use sanitizer and to wash their hands," said Tusa.

Some Etech employees feel protection at work is all about control.

"Use common sense have things accessible to the workers to control as much as they can so they can control their environment as much as they can," said David Corey, a customer service representative for Etech.

To fight against the virus in the workplace, employees and employers must "work" together.

"We feel it's a joint effort from management and our employees that we make sure that they feel good about being here," adds Tusa.

During this flu season education is the going to be the key against H1N1.

"Going into this season we're going to do more good by teaching our community how to take of themselves as oppose to alerting everyone about a flu scare," explained Sanford.

The regular flu vaccine will be distributed sometime in October. You should be able to get the H1N1 vaccine sometime this fall, perhaps November, as well.

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