Tornadoes often occur with very little to no warning. During the past decade, these disastrous storms have been increasing in severity and frequency. It is important for everyone to take precautions against tornadoes, but it is especially important for employers to do this. Employers have a certain amount of responsibility to keep employees safe in the workplace if they are caught there when a tornado hits.
Developing emergency plans, monitoring weather watches or warnings and learning how to identify the warning signs of a tornado are all important for employers to know to keep themselves and their workers safe. Employers should also be familiar with the different types of hazards that exist after a tornado has passed.
Preparing For A Tornado
To prepare, businesses should form emergency plans of action. These plans should always include details about designated shelter locations in the workplace. They should also include policies designed to ensure that all workers are accounted for and steps for dealing with hazardous materials that are part of the workplace. In addition to this, employers should encourage their workers to develop plans at home for their families. This will benefit both the employer and the employee. Many employees trying to phone home in a panic when shelter should be taken may only lower safety in the workplace in the event of a tornado.
Employers should form checklists and delegate duties to supervisors and workers. Every person should know exactly what he or she should do when a tornado watch is issued and when a tornado warning is issued. Personal preparedness kits can also be made to make the process easier. The contents of these will vary based on different workplaces.
After The Tornado
Following a tornado, businesses must take several steps to recover. Some workers will still face hazards, and there is always the possibility of another storm shortly after the first one. Employers should make sure their workers know how to avoid hazards. For workers who are in charge of eliminating them, employers should educate them about safe elimination practices. Portable generators, machinery, flood waters, sharp objects, debris and power lines are all very important to include in a plan. Employers can obtain helpful information and rules for keeping workers safe through OSHA’s Compliance Assistance page or through OSHA’s publications. For more information about these rules and insurance issues, discuss concerns with an agent.