You’ve all probably heard the old adage “April showers bring May flowers.” In the construction world, April showers bring additional hazards. This time of year, people who work outdoors may be exposed to extreme weather conditions, such as severe storms. Severe storms include thunderstorms, lightning, hail, flooding and even tornadoes. Proper planning is a key component in keeping your employees and property safe. Preparing in advance will keep your workers safe so they know what to do when the weather takes a turn and puts them in harm’s way. OSHA recommends that worker have an awareness of the unique hazards brought on by violent storms.
Thunderstorms and lightning occur most on hot, humid days. During a thunderstorm, you should avoid tall, isolated objects – which may attract lightning strikes – and let professionals handle fallen electrical wires. Be careful if there are strong winds, which can knock over trees and utility poles and send objects flying.
Tornados can occur at any time and are especially common in the Central United States. During a tornado warning, you should avoid opening any windows. If you are outside and unable to find shelter, lie down in a ditch, ravine, or other low-lying area and cover your head with your arms.
To prepare for extreme weather, outdoor workers should take the following measures:
- Develop an emergency action plan for all likely weather scenarios
- Designate appropriate shelter sites
- Monitor local weather warning systems
- Hold emergency drills
For additional information and safety resources contact Chad Van Ostrand at [email protected]