Serious storms cause injury, death, and property danger throughout the United States every year. While you can’t stop storms from happening, you can prepare for them and make smart decisions that will enhance safety. OSHA reminds employers that they should take responsibility for their workers by recognizing dangers and offering effective solutions to reduce risk.

What Kind of Risks Do Employees Face During Storms?

OSHA offers a lot of suggestions that can help keep you and your employees safer during storms. The specific risks that you face, however, depend on several factors, including the type of work that you do and the kind of storm approaching.

If you have employees who work outside, then it usually makes sense to either send them home or ask them to come inside until the storm passes. The average storm can create dangers by knocking down power lines and creating slippery surfaces. Working in these conditions can be quite dangerous.

Tropical storms often cause even more problems, including floods and flying debris. Unless your employee is a first responder of some sort, he or she should not be outside during serious storms.

Should You Send Them Home?

OSHA suggests safety training and apparel, but employers often find themselves wondering whether they should just send their workers home for the day.

This seems like the best way to avoid workplace injuries, but you could also endanger your employees by insisting that they go home. If the storm has already struck, then they probably should not travel away from the workplace. Sending them home might help you avoid workers’ compensation claims, but it could also put you in danger of a lawsuit.