Poll Finds 84 Percent of Employed Americans Go to Work Sick

  Poll Finds 84 Percent of Employed Americans Go to Work Sick

   Be careful whose hand you’re shaking--45 percent of sick workers make no
                  effort to avoid direct contact with others

Business Wire

CINCINNATI -- December 19, 2012

If you’ve ever gone to work sick, a recent study commissioned by Cintas
Corporation (NASDAQ: CTAS) shows that you’re not alone. The survey, conducted
online in November 2012 by Harris Interactive among 2,249 U.S. adults ages 18
and older, revealed that 84 percent of employed adults admit to having ever
gone to work while sick. However, of those workers, almost half (45 percent)
take no precautions to avoid direct contact with others in the form of shaking
hands, fist bumps, etc. Forty-five percent of employed adults who have ever
gone to work sick also refrain from warning others of their illness.

“Workplaces can quickly become breeding grounds for bacteria when workers
engage in presenteeism, or attending work while sick,” said John Amann, Vice
President, First Aid & Safety, Cintas. “Since presenteeism reduces business
productivity, it’s important for people to take the proper steps to protect
themselves and others, like avoiding contact and warning co-workers of their

According to the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. population suffers 1
billion colds each year. Colds and other contagious viruses have the ability
to affect the workplace. Although not all employed adults avoid direct contact
or warn others when they are sick, the report found that almost all employed
adults who have ever gone to work sick do something to protect others. When
asked which precautions they take to alleviate their own symptoms and avoid
infecting others in the workplace, employed U.S. adults who have ever gone to
work sick reported:

• I regularly wash my hands/use hand sanitizer  77 percent
• I sneeze/cough into my sleeve                  67 percent
• I bring my own medication to work              54 percent
• I regularly wipe down my workspace             34 percent

Since the symptoms of illness can affect employees without warning, it’s
important for organizations to keep first-aid cabinets on-site and
well-stocked with appropriate products like decongestant, cold relief, and
sore throat relief solutions. These small investments upfront can reduce the
impact of sickness and keep workers healthy and productive.
Individually-sealed, tamper-evident packets of cough drops and non-drowsy
medicine, such as Dayquil and Mucinex, which are offered in Cintas first-aid
cabinets, are ideal to eliminate the risk of workers taking the incorrect
dosage or using sleep-inducing formulas.

“Employers that are proactive about properly maintaining first-aid cabinets
demonstrate that they care about workers’ health and wellness,” Amann added.
“By stocking cabinets for cold-weather months, employers can keep productivity
on track, prevent the escalation of sickness, and reduce OSHA recordable

For more information on first-aid and safety solutions from Cintas, please
visit www.cintas.com/firstaidsafety.

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris
Interactive on behalf of Cintas from November 27-29, 2012 among 2,249 adults
ages 18 and older, of whom, 1,374 are employed and 1,060 have ever gone to
work sick. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and
therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For
complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact

About Cintas Corporation:

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Cintas Corporation provides highly specialized
services to businesses of all types primarily throughout North America. Cintas
designs, manufactures and implements corporate identity uniform programs, and
provides entrance mats, restroom cleaning and supplies, tile and carpet
cleaning, promotional products, first aid, safety, fire protection products
and services and document management services for more than 900,000
businesses. Cintas is a publicly held company traded over the Nasdaq Global
Select Market under the symbol CTAS and is a component of the Standard &
Poor’s 500 Index.


Mulberry Marketing Communications
Jess Messenger, 312-664-1532
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