While the super storm known as Hurricane Sandy caused severe damage along the Eastern Seaboard over a month ago, the aftermath is still being felt. As businesses continue to pick up the pieces and attempt to salvage what's left, it's important for them to keep their workers protected. Otherwise, serious legal ramifications could ensue.
The Huffington Post published an article detailing how companies need to ensure that they are outfitting cleanup crews with the proper equipment to keep themselves safe. The same way that individuals were affected from dust and mold after the September 11 attacks in 2001, some officials fear Sandy cleanup crews could suffer similar fates.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) highlighted the hazards Wednesday in a new fact sheet on mold hazards and safeguards for workers. Spokesman Jesse Lawder told the news source that OSHA agents working in Sandy-affected areas had conducted field interventions for 17,481 private sector and federal employees.
"While we think that the type of contamination and exposure is very different than during 9/11, we are very concerned that we will suffer similar consequences," Joel Shufro, executive director of the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, told the source. "We believe that a large number of workers need to be trained. We don't want to repeat mistakes of 9/11."
It's necessary for business owners to plan ahead for multiple scenarios - including ones that involve the possibility of bad situations. Partnering with commercial insurance specialists will guarantee that a company is prepared not only for natural disasters but also the cleanup process.
The long-term damage could be very expensive - legal expenses and worker's compensation - if owners do not take the time to find a comprehensive insurance plan.