Staying Safe on the Job After a Natural Disaster

In light of the recent tornado disasters in Oklahoma, officials with the Occupational Safety & Heath Administration (NHTSA) are taking the time to talk safety about tornado preparedness and response efforts.
Tornadoes can strike with little to no warning. It’s important that we’re ready for whatever Mother Nature has to throw our way. It’s critical to have an emergency plan in place, to know the warning signs of these storms and to monitor the news channel for up-to-date information.

Our Charlotte workers’ compensation attorneys are here to help businesses and their employees prepare for tornadoes, and to provide information about various dangers that workers may face in the aftermath of a tornado. Before you go and do anything, you want to make sure that your company or workplace has an emergency plan in place. You want to know where you can safely take shelter, ways to keep tabs on all employees in the event of a storm and you want to discuss different ways to address dangerous materials that can be found on your work site.

Once a tornado has come and gone, make sure that you’ve got a plan in place to get back to business. It’s getting that done that can be the most dangerous. You want to make sure that you’ve got a plan to keep workers from getting injured in these recovery efforts. You’ve got to be on the lookout for an additional storms, watch out for an downed power lines and steer clear of dangerous debris.

Workers should also be cautious of heat stress and they should cautious when working with dangerous equipment for recovery procedures, including generators. Make sure that everyone on the work site is taking the necessary safety precautions to stay safe during this time.

What could be so hazardous?

-Dangerous driving conditions. This includes slippery or blocked roadways.

-Slip, trip and fall accidents resulting from slippery or blocked walkways.

-Falling objects or debris. This can include broken glass and even nails.

-Electrical hazards. This can come from downed power lines and even contact with objects that may be touching a downed power source.

-Falls from heights.

-Exhausting from overworking.

-Dehydration and other heat-related injuries.

-Continue to monitor your local radio or television stations for emergency information and the potential of additional storms. Be aware of possible structural, electrical, or gas-leak hazards.

While you’re at it — plan ahead for everything. The planning process should take an “all hazards” approach. There are many different threats or hazards. The probability that a specific hazard will impact your business is hard to determine. That’s why it’s important to consider many different threats and hazards and the likelihood they will occur.

If you or someone you love has been involved in a North Carolina work-related accident, contact the Lee Law Offices at 1-800-887-1965 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:

New OSHA Rule for Crane and Derrick Workers, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, May 27, 2013

New Legislation Aims to Bolster OSHA Role in Worker Safety, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, May 25, 2013

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