Storm cleanup done by company employees can cause them injury. Listen for tips on how to protect workers from the four major dangers of storm cleanup.
Slips, trips and falls, water hazards, electrical hazards, and debris hazards all need to be avoided if a company chooses to do its own cleanup after a storm. Dan Clark details each of the hazards and how employees can prepare for them.
intro music and effects
Dan Clark: Storms and natural disasters of any kind — snowstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes — can challenge businesses to swamp out their facility afterward. In some cases you’ll hire trained pros to do it but in others, employees might be handling the aftermath. We creep into the 4 Hazards Of Storm Cleanup next.
Hi, I’m Dan Clark with The Safety Brief. We take on health and safety hazards in today’s demanding industrial and construction worksites, a service of Creative Safety Supply. Save 10 percent off your entire order at creativesafetysupply.com with coupon code BIG10.
A wide variety of hazards can present themselves after a huge storm or natural disaster. Let’s look at the big ones, the 4 Hazards Of Storm Cleanup.
1. WATER-RELATED HAZARDS.
• If flooding or water damage occur, chemicals can spill, bacteria can grow and mold can spread through the air.
• Use PPE, such as rubber boots, gloves and protective clothing when grabbing anything potentially contaminated.
• Use a respirator. An N95 is an example or higher rated, if necessary.
• Have a current tetanus shot. Current means within the last 10 years.
2. DOWNED TREES AND OTHER STORM DEBRIS.
• Struck-by hazards abound. Remove tree limbs and debris carefully. Use PPE if necessary.
• Beware of strains from overdoing it when moving debris. Be smart, work in teams.
• Cuts and injuries from sharp objects can happen quickly. Use the right PPE if you’re moving glass or metal.
3. ELECTRICAL HAZARDS.
• Stay away from downed power lines. Assume they’re live. Set up a barrier to keep people away.
• Damaged wiring is a hazard too. Only trained professionals should try to fix this.
• Temporary electricity. If portable generators are needed to do work before the power snaps back on, use caution. They can cause carbon monoxide poisoning or fires if you don’t use them right.
• Snow and rain can create slippery conditions resulting in slips, trips and falls.
• Ladders and other equipment can be made even more unstable and unsafe.
Keep in mind, in some cases, cleanup is best left to the professionals.
Also, if possible, it’s a good idea to wait until utility companies can get basic services up and running so you can avoid using generators or working in dark areas.
Sometimes it’s best to just stay out of the way. Let snowplows and emergency vehicles get their work done before you try to start your own work.
That’s all for this episode, 4 Hazards Of Storm Cleanup. Join me again for more ways to stay safety compliant in today’s always-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, a service of Creative Safety Supply. Don’t forget! Save 10 percent off your entire order at creativesafetysupply.com with coupon code BIG10. That’s B-I-G-1-0.
Snow blower photo by Architect of the Capitol; vacuum photo FEMA/Judith Grafe; hazmat spray photo FEMA/Adam DuBrowa