Posted on 07/07/2011, by Jeremy Edsall
Your Responsibilities During Inclement Weather
Since your employees work almost exclusively outdoors, the weather plays a large role in their daily working conditions. Sometimes, working in stormy, rainy or hot weather is simply unavoidable, so it is important that your employees are prepared and educated on handling the conditions safely. Inclement weather can also impact other responsibilities as an employer, so you need to be prepared as well.
Rainy weather or extreme heat can cause unusual conditions and higher risks, so it is important to train employees on safety procedures. They should understand the dangers of excessive heat, lightning, and working with or on wet or slippery equipment. Employees should use precaution on wet surfaces and prepare or changes in weather such as sudden heavy rain, wind and lightning. Employees should stay well hydrated also should be trained to recognize and treat heat related illnesses and injuries in themselves and co-workers.
Driving Company Vehicles
Another concern regarding inclement weather is employees who drive a company vehicle as part of their workday. Driving in severe weather can be extremely dangerous, so it is important to take precautions. All vehicles should be given a safety check by a mechanic before the bad weather hits, and they should also be equipped with emergency materials such as a first aid kit, blanket, and flashlight.
In order to protect your company against liability, any employees who may drive in bad weather on company time, regardless of whether they drive a company or personal vehicle, should be trained in safe, cautious driving techniques and what to do in case of an accident.
These inclement weather provisions should be included in your safety plan and discussed before and during the onset of such weather.
Whether your employees come in to work on a given day may depend on the weather conditions. In uncertain weather conditions, you may not know until the night before or morning of if your employees will be working that day. As such, it is essential that you have communication channels in place to inform your employees, including a backup method if they cannot be reached on their phone.
Before bad weather hits, you should be prepared, and your employees should be informed of all relevant safety rules and policies to keep in mind. If you are proactive in tackling bad weather conditions, you can minimize the impact on your business and employees as much as possible.