Does Your Project Have A Hurricane Emergency Plan?
Hurricane season is upon us, and the new season is a reminder that your construction site needs to be prepared to put safety first. In addition to safety, you should be aware of the rules and regulations that may dictate how you implement your hurricane preparedness plans.
Every item on your construction site is a potential hazard in a storm. Hopefully you know to put away heavy machinery, lower cranes, and move vehicles to safe areas. But even small items like lumber, scrap, trash cans, and portable toilets need to be removed or at least anchored down.
Failure to keep property from flying around in a storm could lead to a negligence claim against you, should something on your construction site damage someone else’s property or cause an injury.
An Action Plan
But aside from the safety aspects, are the practical aspects of how you will manage your company, and the job, in the immediate aftermath of the storm, you should give thought to a pre and post hurricane action plan.
There are OSHA guidelines as well as FEMA regulations on the requirements for having an emergency action plan.
The typical plan will include things like:
- Procedures for reporting fires, explosions, floods or other emergencies—how will you communicate an on-site emergency both to local officials, but also to other members of your construction team or to subcontractors?
- In the event of an emergency, don’t assume that everyone can be reached. Do you have a chain of command, so that a decision maker can be reached if needed?
- Which member of your team will monitor the weather? Who will make the decision to evacuate or remove property? Do you have a plan that designates who does what, and who makes what crucial pre and post-hurricane decisions?
- If you are responsible for evacuating people, or protecting employees from the storm, do you have a method to account for everyone? Necessary medical equipment on hand? Do you have a meeting place in the event that someone gets lost, or you can’t communicate with everyone?
- Who will remain on the property, or at least stay on the property as long as possible, to operate critical functions?
- Is there a way to inventory material, property and other items, both to make sure they are secure and won’t fly away in the storm, and also so your business can make any insurance claims and keep track of exactly what property or items are lost in the storm?
- Do your construction agreements have provisions for delays that may be necessitated by a storm? Who will pay for the extra costs that may be associated with securing property, housing employees, or executing any of these hurricane action emergency plans?
Call our Florida construction law attorneys at Sweeney Law P.A. at 954 440-3993 for help to review your project’s plans and documents, to make sure you’re prepared for any emergency.