Steps employers can take to prepare for severe weather in the workplace and avoid unnecessary work injuries.
Michigan Committee for Severe Weather Awareness (MCSWA)
formed in 1991 to encourage residents to be prepared in the event of severe weather. April 6-12 has been designated as Severe Weather Awareness Week.
We think it should be expanded to include businesses. Severe weather can happen any time and in different forms. This includes during working hours when employees are away from home. Here are some tips on being prepared and making the workplace safer.
Michigan Severe Weather
Spring in Michigan gives rise to severe thunderstorms and tornados. This occurs when warm air collides with cold. Hot and humid conditions also create the potential for dangerous weather. Watch out for lightning, flash floods, and wind damage. The potential for severe weather lasts all summer.
NWS Watches vs. Warnings
The National Weather Service (NWS) says a “watch” means that potential exists for the development of severe thunderstorms or tornadoes. NWS recommends that you go about your normal activities but keep an eye to the sky and an ear to weather radio or local media.
A severe thunderstorm or tornado “warning” means that severe weather is occurring or is imminent. Action should be taken to ensure safety.
DOL Safety Tips
The United States Department of Labor wants “employers to stay aware of weather forecasts, train workers on workplace severe weather plans, and keep emergency supplies, including a battery-operated weather radio, on hand to be better prepared when severe weather strikes.”
We also think it is critical to have a severe weather action plan. Identify a specific location for your employees to be safe. Practice weather preparedness by having drills. Allow employees to check-in with family members in the event of bad weather. Profits should never come before the health and safety of employees.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a case. We have represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation.
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