Providing Over-The-Counter Medications in the Workplace Boosts Productivity

Study Finds Easy Access to Cold Medication, Ibuprofen Keeps Workers on the Job



Apr 12, 2001, 01:00 ET from Textilease Medique

    WOOD DALE, Ill., April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- On the heels of a virulent flu
 season, employers are no doubt examining how they can help employees stay well
 -- and stay on the job.  While researchers have yet to find a cure for the flu
 or the common cold, a new study shows that simply giving workers easy access
 to over-the-counter medications at work helps keep them on the job.
     The study, which was conducted by University of Michigan researchers and
 funded by Textilease Medique, used a random sample of hourly workers at an
 automotive manufacturing plant.  It found that 85 percent of those workers
 reported staying on the job when they had convenient access to
 over-the-counter medications, such as analgesics (aspirin, acetaminophen,
 ibuprofen), cold/cough and anti-diarrheal medications, antacids and skin
 ointments.  Workers reported that the medications reduced their symptoms
 enough so they could stay on the job and finish their shifts.
     The study also found that workers frequently experience a variety of
 treatable symptoms while on the job.  More than 73 percent reported that they
 regularly experienced headaches, colds and sinus problems while at work.
 Almost all of those surveyed (98 percent) said that access to medications
 helped them feel well enough to complete their shifts.
     "Every day I meet with employees suffering from colds, headaches and
 similar ailments," said Debbie Woodruff, an occupational health nurse at
 Baxter Healthcare in Tampa Bay, Florida.  "Although some people should go
 home, many with milder symptoms don't want to.  In these cases, I offer them
 various medications to provide relief, so they can be comfortable and do their
 jobs."
     According to study author, Yvonne Abdoo, R.N., Ph.D., at the University of
 Michigan at Ann Arbor, the study shows the value and potential financial
 impact of providing over-the-counter medications in the workplace.
     "We now have data that underscores just how valuable this is in keeping
 workers on the job and preserving productivity," she said.  "While the study
 was conducted using hourly workers at a manufacturing plant, it has
 implications for employers of all types.  On-site health services, such as
 medications, appear to be a small investment with a large return."
     According to Sean Goodman, vice president at Textilease Medique, employers
 who provide over-the-counter medications at work also experience a halo effect
 of goodwill.
     "Even though it has bottom-line value, employees also know that it's a
 caring gesture -- a perk," he said.
     Textilease Medique, which is based in Wood Dale, IL., provides unit-dose,
 non-prescription medications nationwide for use in occupational health.  For
 more information or a copy of the study, contact Goodman at
 630-694-4100.
 
 

SOURCE Textilease Medique
    WOOD DALE, Ill., April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- On the heels of a virulent flu
 season, employers are no doubt examining how they can help employees stay well
 -- and stay on the job.  While researchers have yet to find a cure for the flu
 or the common cold, a new study shows that simply giving workers easy access
 to over-the-counter medications at work helps keep them on the job.
     The study, which was conducted by University of Michigan researchers and
 funded by Textilease Medique, used a random sample of hourly workers at an
 automotive manufacturing plant.  It found that 85 percent of those workers
 reported staying on the job when they had convenient access to
 over-the-counter medications, such as analgesics (aspirin, acetaminophen,
 ibuprofen), cold/cough and anti-diarrheal medications, antacids and skin
 ointments.  Workers reported that the medications reduced their symptoms
 enough so they could stay on the job and finish their shifts.
     The study also found that workers frequently experience a variety of
 treatable symptoms while on the job.  More than 73 percent reported that they
 regularly experienced headaches, colds and sinus problems while at work.
 Almost all of those surveyed (98 percent) said that access to medications
 helped them feel well enough to complete their shifts.
     "Every day I meet with employees suffering from colds, headaches and
 similar ailments," said Debbie Woodruff, an occupational health nurse at
 Baxter Healthcare in Tampa Bay, Florida.  "Although some people should go
 home, many with milder symptoms don't want to.  In these cases, I offer them
 various medications to provide relief, so they can be comfortable and do their
 jobs."
     According to study author, Yvonne Abdoo, R.N., Ph.D., at the University of
 Michigan at Ann Arbor, the study shows the value and potential financial
 impact of providing over-the-counter medications in the workplace.
     "We now have data that underscores just how valuable this is in keeping
 workers on the job and preserving productivity," she said.  "While the study
 was conducted using hourly workers at a manufacturing plant, it has
 implications for employers of all types.  On-site health services, such as
 medications, appear to be a small investment with a large return."
     According to Sean Goodman, vice president at Textilease Medique, employers
 who provide over-the-counter medications at work also experience a halo effect
 of goodwill.
     "Even though it has bottom-line value, employees also know that it's a
 caring gesture -- a perk," he said.
     Textilease Medique, which is based in Wood Dale, IL., provides unit-dose,
 non-prescription medications nationwide for use in occupational health.  For
 more information or a copy of the study, contact Goodman at
 630-694-4100.
 
 SOURCE  Textilease Medique