Tornado Safety: May 2018 Safety & Hygiene Corner

Provided by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.

Q: What should I consider when selecting a Shelter-in-Place/ Tornado Shelter location at work?

We are entering tornado season which usually runs spring through summer.   Do you know where to shelter at work if there were a tornado right now?  Is the room large enough to accommodate your employees and any visitors?  What is a business required to do?

OSHA’s shelter in place guidance recommends the following:

  • Select interior room(s) above the ground floor, with the fewest windows or vents.
  • The room(s) should have adequate space for everyone to be able to sit. Avoid overcrowding by selecting several rooms if necessary.
  • Large storage closets, utility rooms, pantries, copy and conference rooms without exterior windows will work well.
  • Avoid selecting a room with mechanical equipment like ventilation blowers or pipes, because this equipment may not be able to be sealed from the outdoors.

Many businesses will use rest rooms that are on interior walls.  Interior stair wells away from windows on the lowest level will also work.   If you need assistance with your shelter in place procedure you can review the document links below.