After hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes and other severe weather makes it’s way through an area, there are many people who must work in the hazardous conditions to clean-up and restore the damages made by the storm. To reduce hurricane worker’s comp claims and injures related to storm and flood cleanup work, employers should educate employees on the potential dangers and what safety precautions to make for electrical hazards, heat stress, confined spaces, falls, and musculoskeletal hazards. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has a detailed list of hazards and precautions to take, but here are the more common problems:
Prevent Work Related Injuries from Floodwaters – never drive cars or other vehicles through flood waters, as you can’t tell how deep it is. If you must work outside in or near floods, wear a life jacket.
Prevent Work Related Injuries from Unstable Buildings – do not enter buildings which have become unstable as a result of severe weather or flooding until a building inspector has examined and certified the building as safe.
Prevent Work Related Injuries from Electrical Hazards – do not touch fallen power lines or overhead powerlines. If you see electrical equipment or circuits have gotten wet or are near flood water, turn off the power until it has been inspected by an electrician.
If you are injured on the job as a result of your clean up and restoration efforts in NY, seek medical care and contact experienced workers’ comp lawyers like Markhoff & Mittman for a free consultation.