March came into Missouri like a lion with snow and ice and if we’re lucky it will leave like a lamb. Unfortunately, spring weather doesn’t often resemble a lamb. Many people have a severe weather plan for home, but Mother Nature doesn’t schedule severe weather around work hours. Businesses have a responsibility to keep employees safe during severe weather events and that means having a plan. Check out some simple steps for putting a plan together and communicating it with employees.
Create your plan for employees in the office
- Create and maintain a current employee list with updated emergency contact information. If employees work in shifts, make sure you have an employee list for each shift so you know who should be accounted for at any specific time.
- Provide all locations and job sites with a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio. Make sure all weather radios are programmed in each location and turned on at all times.
- Develop a severe weather communication plan. This includes having updated personal contact information for each employee.
- Label all hardened inner rooms in each of your locations that may be used to shelter employees and visitors during severe weather.
- Include a list of all critical business processes that must cease during a severe weather event and who is responsible for completing these tasks at each location.
Create your plan for employees in the field
- Stay up to date daily on the potential for any severe weather in every area or job site field employees may be located.
- Designate an employee to be in charge during a severe weather event for each location or job site.
- Inform employees of the nearest hardened shelter location. Whenever possible, create an agreement with nearby businesses that allows your employees to take shelter there during severe weather.
- Develop a severe weather warning system that can be adequately seen or heard on a remote or loud job site. This may include using an air horn or emergency lights.
- Include employees on the road in your severe weather plan. Whenever possible, employees should get to a hardened building and take shelter. When a shelter is not available, employees should stay in their vehicle with their seatbelt fastened to avoid being ejected.