Dear Flight Attendant Group:
As Fall is upon us, we are entering the flu and cold season. As flight attendants we need to exercise good judgement as safety professionals, but we must also exercise good judgement when it comes to our health as well.
We need to keep ourselves healthy and know when not to go to work. We not only put ourselves in jeopardy, but are exposing as well our co-workers and passengers. Illnesses like the cold and flu can be spread by physical contact. When we’re sick, the people with whom we come into physical contact have a significantly increased risk of coming down with the illness, according to virologists, epidemiologists, and other experts. There is a causal relationship between being sick with a cold or the flu and making others sick by touching them directly or handling an object that they soon touch themselves.
Common Symptoms of the flu:
Fever (100°F or greater)
Runny nose (more common in children than adults)
Emergency warning signs in adults
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen.
Severe or persistent vomiting.
Because of what we are exposed to in our jobs and people we come in contact with, it is recommended that we get the flu shot. Flu vaccinations can keep you from getting sick from flu. Protecting yourself from flu also protects the people around you who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness.
Flu vaccination can help protect people who are at greater risk of getting seriously ill from flu, like older adults, people with chronic health conditions and young children (especially infants younger than 6 months old who are too young to get vaccinated).
Flu vaccination also may make your illness milder if you do get sick. Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of more serious flu outcomes, like hospitalizations and deaths.
Please use common sense and if need be, please be in communication with your supervisor and if needed your union rep if you have concerns or issues regarding using a sick call. Your health is the most important thing and you need to put your health and well-being first. Remember to wash your hands frequently and carry hand wipes for those times water is not available.
If you are not calling in sick when you should because of fear of discipline, please email me so that I can begin tracking this issue and look for a solution.
Fly safe and take care of yourselves.
IAM Health and Safety Coordinator