As recovery efforts continue in the aftermath of hurricane Florence, widespread flooding is expected in the towns and communities surrounding Aiken. For emergency workers in the field, as well as other employees required to return to their job duties, this can present serious risks. On-the-job accidents and injuries will likely be common in the weeks ahead. While workers’ compensation benefits can help defray costs you suffer as a result, you still want to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself during this difficult time.
Protect Yourself Against Flood-Related Injuries
While the National Weather Service reports that hurricane Florence left Aiken largely unscathed with less than 2 inches of accumulated rainfall, residents may be impacted by some runoff along with flooding in the surrounding areas. For many people, this will mean sending family members into potentially dangerous conditions. Some may be taking part in recovery efforts, while others could face risks simply as the result of working for out of town employers or having to travel through the neighboring communities.
Anytime you are dealing with flood conditions and large amounts of accumulated rainfall, there is an increased likelihood for serious personal injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) warns that all employees need to be alert for the following in the days and weeks to come:
Electrical hazards, caused by downed power lines and submerged wiring
Falling trees and limbs, which are more common when the ground is saturated
Carbon monoxide leaks, which may have gone undetected in the aftermath of the storm
Mold and chemical or biological hazards, which can result in serious breathing disorders
Increased likelihood for snakes, rats, and other pests, particularly in areas that are swampy or filled with debris
Accidental drowning, which can happen in as little as a foot of water
Overuse and exhaustion, which is likely when working long shifts and while engaging in heavy lifting
Heat-related injuries and illnesses, which can occur as the result of laboring outdoors, not drinking enough water, or not taking the proper breaks
In addition to emergency crews and rescue workers, utility company employees, landscapers, contractors, and insurance surveyors are all at an increased risk. If you work for a company in an affected area, drive a truck for a living, or are required to make emergency deliveries as the result of the storm, you also need to be aware of potentially dangerous traffic conditions. These include:
Wet roads, which decrease traction and increase the likelihood of losing control of your vehicle
Flood waters on roadways, which can rise surprisingly fast
Increased risk of sinkholes and bridge or road washouts
Contact Us Today for Help
On-the-job injuries you suffer as a result of weather conditions can have long ranging impacts on your health and financial security. At the Surasky Law Firm, LLC, we can assist you in getting the benefits you need to recover. Contact our Aiken workers’ compensation attorney to request a consultation today.