Each year, hurricanes hit our shores and leave a trail of devastation in their wake. Hurricanes cause billions of dollars in damages. Homes, buildings, roads, and highways are destroyed. But more importantly, lives are lost and people are severely injured, even after the hurricane is gone.
Employers Should Have an Emergency Plan
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) website, employers should have an evacuation plan in place to ensure workers are able to get to safety when a hurricane strikes. The plan should include the following:
- Conditions that will activate the plan
- A clear chain of command
- Emergency functions and designated people who will perform them
- Evacuation procedures, including routes and exits
- Procedures in place for accounting for personnel, customers, and visitors
- Equipment for personnel
Failing to have a plan in place to respond to an emergency is irresponsible and negligent. It puts lives at risk. Severe storms and hurricanes result in high winds, flooding, loss of power and raw materials, disruptions in infrastructure, and etc. Employers need to ensure all employees have access to critical safety equipment, including:
- Face shields
- Safety glasses
- Hard hats
- Ear plugs
- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
The Injury Count Grows After the Hurricane is Gone
Chemical and industrial plants are bound by certain regulations, such as the OSHA regulations, to provide a safe work environment. Measures must be taken to prevent accidents—hazards need to be identified to reduce risk of injury. Employers are responsible for protecting their employees, yet plant accidents are most commonly caused by unsafe practices, unsafe conditions, and other failures, such as a failure to conduct a thorough plant inspection following a severe storm or hurricane.
Injuries don’t stop once the hurricane is over. Often times, and especially at industrial plants and refineries, employers do not take the time to inspect their property for damage and someone gets hurt!
Contact the Accident Attorneys at Morrow & Sheppard LLP
There are few things more overwhelming than a lawsuit. After an injury, the last thing on your mind is to go to court. But if you were injured or a loved one was hurt or killed in an accident, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation about your legal rights. To speak with an attorney at our offices in Houston, please call (800) 489-2216 or send us your information online today.