Contaminated Water Creates Liability for Emergency Workers

Liability for Emergency Workers

Contaminated Water Creates Liability for Emergency Workers

Contaminated water from natural disasters can present multiple safety hazards that employers should be aware of. These include toxins and bacteria in water – a liability for emergency workers. First responders usually have protective equipment and training. However, employers should have a plan for non-emergency recovery workers who are a part of the cleanup and rebuilding efforts after disasters. Worker’s compensation insurance will protect you and your business in the event of contaminated water.

Chemicals in water have adverse effects on health. Pesticides can damage the nervous system and cause cancer because of the carbonates and organophosphates that they contain. Chlorides can cause reproductive and endocrinal damage. For emergency workers, they are sometimes waist deep in this water which can cause long-term health issues.

This past year has been a tough one for the US and Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Harvey plagued the Texas and Louisiana coast and some of the areas that were further inland. Hurricane Maria then left a line of water-based destruction in her path. One of the most dangerous parts of these disasters is hazardous water that contains chemicals, wastewater, and dead animals. The increase in the population of insects and mold goes hand-in-hand with this contaminated water.

Black mold may be the most significant concern for workers. In October 2017, a 31-year old man died after being diagnosed with a bacterial infection known as necrotizing fasciitis. Although this case was rare, experts warn that employers should be aware of saltwater bacteria. Employers whose workers are directly involved with the recovery effort have the most at stake regarding liability, which is why workers compensation is necessary.

For the best protection, AWS offers comprehensive workers’ comp insurance packages for any job in any industry. If you are in the market for insurance, contact us and get a free consultation today.

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