Summertime Inclement Weather Hazards
Summer driving can be less hazardous then driving in other seasons. However, it still has its fair share of hazards. Thunder storms, lightning, tornadoes, heat, and windy conditions can become contributing factors in an accident.
Driving in inclement weather requires proper preparation. Although OSHA doesn’t have a specific standard that covers inclement weather driving, employers have a responsibility to identify and address recognized hazards, including inclement weather-related hazards, likely to cause death or serious physical harm under the OSH Act. Employers must train workers on job hazards and safety measures to use.
Here are five tips to include in your motor vehicle safety program. Use these tips to train your workers to avoid unnecessary exposures to common summertime inclement weather hazards:
- Identify someone responsible for checking weather forecasts and alerts for your specific jobsites or company. This information should be communicated to drivers so they can take appropriate actions to address hazards.
- Train all drivers about inclement weather hazards. Include how to identify hazards and how to avoid exposures to weather elements such as lightning and heat exhaustion that can affect their safety while driving.
- Standing water on roadways can cause a motor vehicle to hydroplane. Drivers should reduce their speed in wet conditions and should never enter a flooded roadway area if they are unsure how deep it is. Even shallow standing water can cause a motor vehicle to lose contact with the road surface.
- Windy conditions can be dangerous even when roads are dry, especially when pulling a trailer. High winds can cause tip-overs and even push a motor vehicle into another lane of traffic. Drivers should reduce speed, secure loads, and plan to take action to minimize impacts of wind hazards.
- Certain parts of the country are susceptible to different types of inclement weather like tornadoes, dust devils, and temperature extremes. Drivers should plan accordingly, employers should train drivers about how to respond to such weather hazards, and an action plan should be created with the driver’s daily motor vehicle safety plan.
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