Strong concern about H1N1 pandemic: Survey

Results from a Canadian HR Reporter reader survey on pandemic preparedness
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/04/2009

A solid majority (84 per cent) of respondents to a survey by Canadian HR Reporter in late August said they are concerned about the possibility of a flu pandemic this fall — with 22 per cent very concerned. It’s not surprising, then, that only 13 per cent of the 607 respondents are not doing anything in the way of pandemic preparedness, while the overwhelming majority have several initiatives underway.

The most common are the provision of hand sanitizers (80 per cent) and communication to employees (73 per cent). Also popular are business continuity planning (57 per cent) and informational posters (50 per cent), along with the identification of critical and non-critical staff (42 per cent), teleworking options (37 per cent), possible policy changes (37 per cent), masks (31 per cent), staff training (28 per cent) and pandemic-related websites (24 per cent). Only nine per cent said they have stockpiled antivirals.

Many respondents are just starting to put the planning into motion while others relayed a variety of efforts, such as absenteeism tracking, setting up a task force or committee, flu shot clinics, identifying critical and non-critical tasks, scenario testing and the distribution of pandemic kits.