The time to prepare for any emergency is prior to the event.
Now that Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June through November, has arrived, workers and managers should prepare for the inevitable.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are five steps to ensuring a safe workplace during storm season.
- Stay aware.
To be prepared for a storm, workers must stay aware of weather forecasts. Damage from wind, storm surge and flooding can happen in an instant. Therefore, it is essential to bookmark websites of your local National Weather Service and emergency management office.
- Create a plan and train workers.
A workplace weather safety plan must include shelter locations, policies to account for all workers, procedures for dealing with hazardous materials, and maps showing evacuation routes. Materials and training should be in a language that every worker understands.
- Make a kit.
Emergency supplies should be kept readily available and include a battery-operated weather radio, personal protective equipment such as safety glasses, flashlights and first-aid kits Ready.gov’s list includes additional tips.
- Know the hazards.
Evaluate a workplace for electrical hazards in addition to fallen trees and debris and mold or biological debris. Furthermore, a generator must be used only outside at least 20 feet from doors or window to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Respond safely.
Workers that are involved in response and recovery must have the correct equipment and training. OSHA recommends using its Hurricanes eMatrix tool to get recommendations for PPE and safe work practices for cleanup activity.
To learn about the various products United Tool and Fastener (UTF) sells relating to hurricane preparedness, including the REED Pumpstick cordless water pumps, Generac Generators, batteries and first-aid kits, contact a UTF showroom in Houston at 713-692-2323; in San Antonio at 210-495-8665; or in College Station at 979-731-8665.