The only guarantees in life are death, taxes and our inability to control the weather. April showers may bring May flowers, but heavy rains can severely affect your business and your bottom line. Have a storm approaching? This is not the time for an anti-rain dance or a “Hope it misses us” mentality. Don’t wait until the last minute. If you haven’t done your homework and prepared ahead of time, a severe storm can result in the following severe consequences:
1. Environmental Impact – It is highly recommended that storm drains be inspected and cleaned out on a regular basis. Stormwater runoff (dirt, trash, paper, bottle caps, etc.) can result in pollution to the environment. If you operate near a navigable waterway and hold a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit, that trash could be expensive and you could be held responsible for hefty fines from the Environmental Protection Agency. Plus the negative publicity doesn’t help either.
The good news is that 1.3 million fewer workers are being injured on the job than 10 years ago—according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The bad news is that even though the number of injuries has been dropping, more than 2.9 million employees were still injured on the job last year. That translates to more than 8,000 employees being injured every single day of the year. And each day, of those 8,000 who are injured, 2,481 will miss at least one day from work. That’s bad for the employee, bad for production quotas and bad for the budget.
Don’t be scared—an inspection isn’t always a bad thing. Someone is just checking to be sure that you have the appropriate plans, procedures and permits in place, and that they are understood and being followed.
Being prepared and ready for an inspection can help relieve some of the anxiety. You can be better prepared for audits and inspections by doing the following:
• Creating an inspection team that is trained and whose members know their responsibilities
o Members may include plant managers, corporate managers, compliance officers, security personnel and legal counsel
…An increased likelihood of flooding. You were thinking “May flowers,” weren’t you?
But, before you head out to purchase topsoil and plant your garden, be sure that your facility—and your home—is ready to withstand a flood. March 16–22 is National Flood Safety Awareness Week—a coordinated effort between FEMA, NOAA and other federal agencies to promote awareness of the need to be prepared for floods.
Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States, and cause more property damage than any other type of weather-related event. Floods are commonly brought about by:
March 2–8 is National Severe Weather Preparedness Week. For those of you shivering through the latest polar vortex with us, and wondering how close Tipton, PA (where New Pig is located) is to Punxsutawney—it’s less than 60 miles, and there is a long list of folks who have dibs on taking care of that groundhog.
Prognosticating rodents aside, there are a lot of different types of severe weather that could affect your facility. Although you can almost assuredly put zombie apocalypses and the threat of sharknadoes aside—threats from floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and wildfires are still very real in different regions of the country—and it pays to be prepared for them.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), here’s a quick look at a few of last year’s disaster numbers:
• 903 reported tornadoes
• 2 hurricanes, 14 tropical and subtropical storms
• More than 20 areas with minor to major flooding