Some professionals are exposed to the risk of contracting infectious diseases. Employers are obliged to protect their employees against these risks. For most risks, a vaccine is available and precautions can be taken. Employees in certain professions are at risk of being infected with the hepatitis B virus.
• Healthcare workers
• Fire brigade
• Employees of judicial institutions, defence, and military police
• Security services
• Cleaning staff
• Water treatment staff
• Funeral staff
What is hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is a serious inflammation of the liver caused by an infection with the hepatitis B virus. This virus is highly contagious. Generally and fortunately, an infection with this virus does not cause any symptoms. However this is not always the case. On average the following symptoms may occur two weeks to three months after infection:
• General symptoms such as headaches, abdominal discomfort, fatigue, loss of appetite, and occasionally a sometimes a slight fever;
• Jaundice: yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes, dark urine and pale-coloured stools due to impaired liver function.
Hepatitis B is predominantly caused by blood contact. It can also be caused by bites, non-sterile tattoos, body and ear piercings, unprotected sexual contact. It may be transmitted to the partners of employees who have been infected and from mother to child during pregnancy and childbirth.
What can you, as an employer, do for your employees?
Being a good employer you want your employees to be able to work in a safe and healthy manner. We are happy to assist you in organising this part of your health policy. Please call +31 (0) 20 649 52 78 if you wish to know more about occupational risks and our vaccination programme for high-risk professions.