2021-2022 hurricane season is predicted to be another wild one. DII partners with business owners to make sure they are preparing their properties and employees with safety measures that mitigate risk.
First and foremost: According to OSHA, each employer is required to provide a safe and healthful workplace for its workers. Employers are required to protect workers from the anticipated hazards associated with the response and recovery operations that workers are likely to conduct.
However, it is important to know as an employer that a hurricane is considered a disaster, which falls under 29 C.F.R. 1910.38, which requires all workplaces with more than 10 employees to develop a written Emergency Action Plan (EAP), when required by an OSHA standard, to identify and coordinate necessary employer and employee actions during an emergency.
At a minimum, the EAP must include the following elements:
- Means of reporting emergencies (fires, floods, etc.);
- Evacuation procedures and assigned exit routes;
- Procedures to account for all employees following an evacuation;
- Procedures to be followed by employees who must remain behind to attend to critical operations before evacuating;
- Rescue and/or medical duties for employees who are assigned and trained to perform them;
- Names or job titles of people who can be contacted for more information about the plan.
If you have not yet created your EAP, we encourage you to develop this plan right away to mitigate loss during an emergency like a hurricane, and to assist with your ongoing operations in the wake of a disaster.
If your building has been affected by a hurricane, Employers should have an effective means of communicating with employees about the following during an emergency:
- Whether they should report to your facility after the storm;
- What areas of the building to avoid;
- How and when it is safe to return to the work area.
DII is your partner in preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. Contact your DII representative if you have any questions about your current coverage or for advice in crafting your EAP.