Hurricane season has arrived. But in some places, the storms are already gone (at least for now), and recovery from resulting flooding has begun. And just as the wind shifts and storms can change direction, employers must also change direction: They must shift from disaster preparedness to disaster recovery and its associated risks — particularly, worker injuries.
In the event of flooding, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) lists common hazards associated with cleanup activities, including:
- Electrical Hazards
- Carbon Monoxide
- Musculoskeletal Hazards
- Thermal Stresses
- Heavy Equipment
- Structural Instability
- Hazardous Materials
- Confined Spaces
- Power Line Hazards
- Agricultural Hazards
- Stress and Fatigue
- Insect and Animal-Related Hazards
NIOSH offers more specific prevention measures for these risks on the Centers for Disease Control website, which houses NIOSH information. In general, protecting workers from these hazards comes down to training and communication, which is no small task in the wake of a disaster — but risk management technology can help.
While safety training ideally precedes any disaster, it’s not always feasible — or even practical, as you can’t necessarily predict which disasters might strike and the resulting impact. That’s where daily toolbox talks or pre-work meetings come in handy. Spend time each day, before work begins, updating employees on potential hazards they might encounter and how to react in such scenarios.
Risk management technology enables an automatic and open line of communication with site supervisors or managers — automatically alerting them of any topics and issues that should be addressed in toolbox talks or pre-work meetings.
In addition, you can obtain electronic signed attestations from employees that they were present for the meetings and effectively complied with the training requirements. Those attestations can also be stored in the system. This helps ensure workers were present and listening at the meetings, and hopefully, took proper precautions as a result — all without having to manage cumbersome pieces of paper at a disaster site.
And, should an incident occur — or evolve into a future claim — risk management technology can then streamline and automate how you document those incidents and even process the related workers’ compensation claims. That’s in addition to risk management technology’s ability to help speed along the claims process for any other type claims you might experience as a result of a disaster.
Schedule a demo to see first-hand how Riskonnect’s integrated risk management technology can help you to remain resilient in the wake of disaster.