Hurricane season this year has been especially difficult for those around the Gulf Coast. However, for New Jersey, it has been largely quiet. But, workers should remember that their employers are responsible for hurricane preparedness, and they have recourse if they are injured as a result of their work during a hurricane.
We all know that employers must create healthful and safe workplaces for their employees. This includes hurricanes for employers in our area because they are anticipated hazards. This means that local employers must have a plan for hurricanes.
First step, an evacuations plan
Planning means preparing, which means having an evacuation plan for potential hurricanes. While simply having an evacuations plan is likely not enough to be fully prepared, it is definitely the first step.
An effective evacuation plan will outline when it will be used, who makes that decision, the chain of command once after and all of the functions of employees and supervisors thereafter. To be safe, several potential evacuation routes should be planned, and all employees should be familiar with these routes. One does not want to be making their first time down this route when a hurricane is chasing them.
Remember, these plans should account not just for personnel, but also potential customers and visitor, if a hurricane should change place with short notice. The key is to think about what “could” happen and plan according. Luckily, the Federal Emergency Management Agency can help at Ready.gov.
When to plan
If a Freehold employer is currently not hurricane ready, now is the time to become ready our area is quiet at the moment. But, hurricane season is still in full swing this month. Employers do not want to be caught flat footed without property preparedness. If an employee is injured even despite a proper plan, or in the event of inadequate planning or some other workplace issue, workers have workers’ compensation ready to step in to help workers recover.