With winter fast approaching, the risk of storms and floods affecting your worksite may increase exponentially.
Here are some tips to help you best manage your workers in the event of a natural disaster.
Check the danger
Before anyone steps in to begin any work, it is essential to ensure that an electricity clearance has been given and that care has been taken to identify any other dangers that could exist.
This includes checking for asbestos, thinking about the consequences of removing things in the wrong order and what could go wrong during clean up and repair work.
Be wary of asbestos
In areas damaged by flooding you may find you are exposed to asbestos. It is essential you remove this carefully, by calling a licenced professional to do the job.
In some instances, however, it may be required to remove this yourself. This must only be done if absolutely necessary and it could pose a danger to others. Take all precautions around this work, by wearing safety equipment such as goggles, disposable coveralls, gloves and a particulate respirator so you do not breathe this material in. Make sure you thoroughly wash hands, shower and wash your hair afterwards.
Be aware of chemicals
Storms and floods may have moved, buried or damaged hazardous chemical containers such as oils, pesticides, corrosives and industrial chemicals.
Make sure you identify these first and seek expert advice such as from a waste management consultant.
Ensure you have the right equipment
Before starting, it is essential to ensure the correct equipment is available, whether you require a digger, cherry picker or submersible pump.
This also means it is essential to check that the people on your work site have the right skills and are competent to do the tasks at hand.
Anyone that is less skilled may need extra supervision.
Care for your workers
As well as ensuring they are not performing a job above their skill set, it is essential that they are equipped correctly - if electrical work is required, they may need rubber soled shoes, for example.
You should also guarantee that there is appropriate first aid equipment on offer and that clean drinking water and hand hygiene measures are readily available. If there is an injury, access to medical treatment is an absolute must!
Workers need to be well rested in order to perform at their best. If you think this could be a concern, ensure breaks are being made available to everyone.