Tornado Safety Tips You Need to Know
Everyone knows how dangerous the construction industry is, with tens of thousands of injuries and hundreds of fatalities every year. Those workers who do their job in areas prone to tornadoes and hurricanes are at even greater risk. Being properly prepared for disasters is vital to reducing liability issues and saving human lives. Here are some important hurricane and tornado safety tips to make sure your job site, workers and bystanders are protected when nature strikes.
An Emergency Response Plan
Every contractor on every job should have an emergency response plan in place. Such a plan will greatly reduce the potential for injury and disaster when catastrophe happens. This is not just the first line of defense against disastrous situations, but is the single most important aspect of your work plan.
Constructing a disaster plan means knowing exactly what you’re up against. Are you planning for fire? Explosions? Tornadoes? Hurricanes? Each potential disaster has its own issues that must be addressed. Put a committee together to assess all of the potential problems a disaster could present, and come up with a detailed plan of action. Educate all of your staff thoroughly on this plan, and drill them to ensure everyone knows their duties in a given situation. The more you drill, the more the right actions become automatic, reflexive and instinctive. This can save lives when the time comes that it’s needed.
Tornado and Hurricane Hazards
Hurricanes and tornados are some of the most devastating natural hazards you can face. They both can seem to form out of nowhere and strike with little to no warning. These gale-force disasters can include a variety of hazards, which can include:
- Fierce and damaging wind
- Heavy rainfall and flooding
- Waves and tsunamis if close to a body of water
- Damage to vehicles and equipment
- Destruction of utilities, road and property
- Deadly flying debris
- Sudden, unexpected storm surges
Preparing for Disaster
Your disaster preparedness plans should be thorough. Important tornado safety tips include standard actions to take when nature’s fury is unleashed. Get away from large bodies of water. Move away from power lines and areas of potential flying debris. Never ignore an evacuation order, and never try to return until the all-clear is given. Dangers can persist even after the storm abates and authorities will need time to secure the area.
Make sure your machinery and equipment is securely tied and locked down and if possible get it somewhere that is designed to resist the winds that are about to kick up. Make sure that cranes, lifts and booms are retracted, taken down and secured. These can create some of the most deadly missiles you can imagine in the event of a hurricane or tornado.
These are just a few hurricane and tornado safety tips. Of course, you will also want to maintain proper contractor’s liability insurance to be sure that if accidents do happen, you are covered.