A Note From The Director

| OSHA, USF Safety Florida

Prepare your workplace for hurricane season during a pandemic

Dear Reader,

A special thank you to everyone who attended the recent webinar on “Reopening America Amidst COVID-19”. During that webinar, we shared tools necessary to coordinate a safe reopening amidst a pandemic. Safety and Health experts discussed key topics including navigating interim guidance, critical elements of a preparedness plan, and realistic strategies for supporting business continuity. If you were unable to attend the webinar, you may view the recording by selecting the following link: https://bit.ly/3i35xTO. For access to the presentations, click here.

Hurricane season can be challenging for a business as well as its employees. With an ongoing coronavirus pandemic, this introduces even more challenges and threats to an already dangerous hurricane season. As weather experts report increased storm activity, we encourage business owners to remain cognizant of weather-related risks and potential hazards your workforce may be faced with. It is imperative that your business takes immediate steps to prepare.

Several key steps that a small business owner can take include:

  • Identify your risk
  • Develop an emergency plan
  • Gather necessary supplies to include face masks, hand sanitizer and liquid or bar soap
  • Know your evacuation zone
  • Prepare your business; ensure your business has a continuity plan to continue operating during a disaster
  • Create reliable remote working options for employees

According to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and US Department of Labor, 40% of small businesses will not reopen following a natural disaster. The Ready Business Program for Hurricane and the Preparedness and Mitigation Project Plan allow users to take action to protect employees, protect customers, and help ensure business continuity.

Click here to download the Ready Business Hurricane Toolkit: https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/2020-04/ready_business_hurricane-toolkit.pdf.

The USF SafetyFlorida Consultation Program is a no-cost consultation service largely funded by OSHA. Employers can find out about potential hazards at their worksites, improve their safety and health programs, and even qualify for a one-year exemption from routine OSHA inspections. Our services primarily focus on small businesses in high hazard industries.

If you are committed to making safety and health a priority in your workplace, don’t delay, contact us today toll-free 1.866.273.1105 or visit https://www.tfaforms.com/4696809 to request a free and confidential consultation.

Stay safe,

Brian L. Warrick, PhD, CSP, CIH
Program Director
USF SafetyFlorida