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Should You Let Employees Work During a Storm?

Hurricane Sandy has everyone thinking about the dangers that can arise from inclement weather and other emergencies. Employers should use this opportunity to consider whether they should keep their employees at work during storms and similar emergencies. In some cases, it makes more sense to send your employees home to avoid risk.

 

What Happens When an Employee Gets Hurt?

If one of your employees gets hurt on the job, then you will probably have to pay that person workers’ compensation. Every business with employees has to carry insurance to cover this, but your premium usually goes up when your workers file more claims than usually.

Keeping your employees at work during a storm, therefore, could end up costing you quite a bit of money.

 

Measuring Risk During an Emergency

 

In some cases, you have to keep your employees at work during an emergency. Ambulance drivers don’t get the night off when a big storm approaches. Those are usually their busiest evenings.

 

When it comes to non-essential staff, though, you should carefully consider whether you want to put them at increased risk of injury. That risk varies from business to business. If your employees do a lot of work outside, then it’s probably best to bring them in or send them home during an intense storm. If they work in a safe building, though, you might ask them to stay.

 

It’s important for employers to realize, though, that their workers might have other things to worry about, including children and other family members. If you want to keep morale high, put yourself in their shoes and think about what you would want.

 

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