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Hurricane Sandy Leaves Work Hazards for Massachusetts Employees

Hurricane Sandy came at New England full force.

Because of her wrath, airports in the area have canceled close to 20,000 flights. Hurricane Sandy slammed into a cold-weather system and dropped into the area bringing 80 mile per hour winds. Rain and snow even continued in some mountainous areas. More than three dozen people were killed, according to the Boston Globe.
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When it all boils down, hurricanes are a kind of tropical cyclone that can do some serious damage to the communities they hit. They are storm systems that come with circulating air and sustained wind speeds of at least 74 miles per hour. Some of the toughest of hurricanes can come with speeds of more than 150 miles per hour. Areas that line the Atlantic Coast face some serious risks.

Our Boston workers’ compensation lawyers understand that the New England area is prone to these kinds of conditions. Hurricane season typically lasts from June through November. It’s important that residents in the area become familiar with the kinds of hurricane warnings we have, the hazards that accompany a hurricane as well as the precautions that both employees and employers should take once a hurricane has passed.

Once a hurricane has come and gone, work conditions change! In the wake of a hurricane, emergency response and recover employees can expect to face some serious challenges. Some of these challenges can include downed power lines, construction debris, downed trees and more.

Before heading out, employers need to look at the hazards and the risks that are involved in tasks that are specific to working in a hurricane-affected area. Once the area has been inspected, engineering controls and workplace practices need to be established.

Hurricane Recovery Safety Tips:

-Use hearing protection when working with chain saws and other loud equipment.

-Make sure all workers are properly trained in the recovery efforts they’ll be completing.

-Isolate unsafe areas with barriers and signage to restrict access.

-Make sure there’s a supply of clean water or disinfecting solutions in order to allow workers to practice personal hygiene.

-Inspect all tools before use to make sure they’re in working order.

-Avoid going near downed power lines, whether you think there’s power or not.

-Be cautious near water. Standing water can hide dangers and moving water can be dangerous for even the best of swimmers.

-Be cautious of insects and wildlife that may come with diseases.

-Air quality in questionable areas should be tested by a qualified individual.

-All debris should be disposed of in an approved manner.

-Extra care should be carried out to help to protect broken skin, like scrapes and cuts, to help to prevent disease transmission.

-Be cautious of moist or humid areas. This is a breeding ground for fungus and mold.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed on the job, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your workers’ compensation case — 1-888-367-2900.

More Blog Entries:

Workplace Safety and Health Challenge: Educating Workers Nationwide, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, October 26, 2012

Boston Work Injury Watch: Top 10 Work Accidents in 2012, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, October 24, 2012