In a combined effort, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has teamed with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to institute national severe weather safety week. During the week two participants aim to encourage the public to prepare to respond in the event of severe weather.
Our Asheville worker’s compensation lawyers know that severe weather, such as tornadoes, can strike without warning and all employers should establish a plan for a severe weather emergency.
Severe weather can be deadly, particularly when there is no plan in place and workers are not equipped to handle the emergency. All businesses should develop an emergency plan that includes a number of basic and simple steps to implement procedures aimed at saving lives in the event of a severe weather emergency.
The first major step in forming a severe weather preparedness plan is to identify areas for shelter. The shelter locations should be underground, such as a storm cellar or basement if possible.
In some cases an underground area may not be available and a business should identify other areas that may be safe places to take shelter. Some areas include small interior rooms or hallways located on the lowest possible floor, preferably a room that is reinforced with brick, or concrete.
In addition, the shelter room should not have a heavy concrete floor or roof over it and individuals should stay as far away from outside walls, doors and windows as possible.
Although it may seem like a good idea to go to the corners of the room, this is unsafe. Instead, seek out the center of the room. This is because debris is often attracted to the corners of a room.
Shelter locations should not be large rooms and should not have large roofs that span great distances. This means you should avoid gymnasiums, cafeterias, and auditoriums.
Employers should also develop accountability procedures. These should include ways to know who is inside the building in the event of an emergency. Organizations should incorporate an alarm that will warn workers when its time to exit the building or seek a safe place.
These methodologies and alarms should be tested frequently to ensure everyone knows where to go in the event of an emergency and all resources such as alarms or other warning systems are working properly.
After establishing proper procedures an organization should update their plan on a regular basis as new employees are added and changes within the organization occur. It is also important to remain flexible when conducting an exercise – if a procedure does not seem to be working efficiently then it should be adjusted to a more viable alternative that will keep workers as safe as possible.
Contact our Carolina worker’s compensation attorneys today by calling 800-887-1965.
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North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Claims Must be Timely Filed, February 18, 2014, North Carolina Worker’s Compensation Lawyers Blog
Workers’ Compensation Benefits After Maximum Medical Improvement Finding, February 15, 2014, North Carolina Worker’s Compensation Lawyers Blog