The busiest part of tropical storm season is just around the corner. Are your employees prepared to stay safe at work?
Tropical storms can pose environmental health and safety hazards for employees.
These hazards include things such as:
- carbon monoxide fumes from using generators in poorly ventilated areas, and
- lead, asbestos and mold growth exposure after water damage.
Inhaling mold can cause adverse health effects, including allergic reactions.
Mold also can damage materials in your home.
In addition, flood water may contain microorganisms, such as bacteria, as well as toxic chemicals and other hazards.
More information on these environmental and health hazards can be found here.
Watch or warning?
Another way to be prepared: Make sure your staff knows the definitions of tropical storms and hurricanes, and the meaning of warning terms used for tropical storms:
- a tropical storm has sustained winds of 39-73 mph
- a hurricane has sustained winds of 74 mph or more
- a major hurricane has sustained winds of 111 mph or more
- hurricane/tropical storm watch: a storm is possible in the area
- hurricane/tropical storm warning: a storm is expected to reach the area, usually within 24 hours.
All tropical storms and hurricanes have the potential to be deadly. However, on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale of 1 to 5, those categorized 3-5 are major hurricanes.
Each year, lightning kills about 50 people and injures hundreds more in the United States.
Outdoor workers in open spaces, on or near tall objects, or near explosives or conductive materials are more likely to face lightning risks.