Monsoon Hazards & Safety Precautions | Toolbox Talk

A monsoon is a seasonal reversal in wind patterns over a region that is associated with heavy rainfall. Monsoon conditions are best developed in the subtropics, such as in east and south-east Asia. Due to the rainy season associated with the monsoon, it is used to indicate the rains rather than the winds.
Monsoon season is a blessing; however, it may become a nuisance in many ways due to heavy rains, windstorms, floods, road accidents & most importantly, a lot of dangerous diseases associated with waterborne germs. It is therefore vital to be prepared for the monsoon weather and its associated safety hazards.

What are monsoon hazards?

There is no denying that the rains are a necessary replenishment of life. Water is essential for growing crops and basic human needs; however, rains also bring their own hazards. Some of the most common hazards are:

1. Electrical hazards

Monsoon season often results in an escalation of electric shock & electrocution accidents. Wet poles, broken power lines, and water penetration in electrical DBs and power sockets often become a deadly source of electrocution during monsoon. Also, due to high moisture contents, metallic bodies of everyday household appliances like washing machines, refrigerators, etc., can become live, causing severe electric shock accidents.

2. Floods & rainwater accumulation

Floods & rainwater accumulation are the most likely hazards associated with the monsoon. People living near river passing areas are most affected by flooding risks, but sometimes heavy rains can cause flash flooding in low-lying areas. Rainwater accumulation on roads is one of the primary reasons for road accidents, electric shock accidents, and waterborne diseases.

3. Waterborne diseases

During monsoon season, our immune system gets weakened, causing attacks of many water-borne diseases. The risk of catching various diseases is exceptionally high due to unhygienic conditions created by water accumulation and contamination from sewerage systems. The most common monsoon diseases are;

  • Influenza (Cold and Flu)
  • Diarrhea & Gastroenteritis (Food poisoning)
  • Typhoid fever
  • Dengue fever
  • Malaria

4. Windstorms

Windstorms create particularly hazardous conditions in monsoon. Wind speeds are so high that it causes weak trees to be dislodged and loose structures to be uplifted. In case you have above-ground electricity distribution, electricity poles and broken electric lines can create additional hazards.

5. Lightning

A lightning strike is an electrical charge current that flows between the clouds and the ground. It often occurs during the rainy season and mostly strikes the tallest object (trees, electrical poles, towers, or a person standing in an open area). Each spark of lightning can reach over 100 million electrical volts, which are lethal in the blink of an eye. It is, therefore, one of the most dangerous hazards associated with the monsoon season.

What should be the monsoon safety precautions?

  • Drink clean water. Be cautious of contaminated water sources that could bring water-borne diseases. If you’re unsure of the water supply, boil it to be safe.
  • Wash your hands as frequently as you can with soap and warm water because bacteria and viruses are most active during the monsoon, and you can come into contact with them just by crossing the road or holding on to an infected railing or bench.
  • Avoid walking in the dirty water during the rains. Whenever going out, try using rain boots.
  • Keep your home or office hygienically clean. Use regular sprays of insecticides & pesticides.
  • Keep a first aid box and some essential medicines ready at home or office. Just in case you cannot step out due to heavy rain.
  • Don’t stay wet and try to change wet clothes as soon as possible. Don't enter an air-conditioned room with damp hair. There are high chances of catching a cold.
  • Keep away from electric lines and poles. Never perform electric repairs in rain or thunderstorm.
  • Try to stay indoors during a thunderstorm.
  • Avoid driving in heavy rain and thunderstorm.

Jawad Chand

Jawad Chand is an occupational health & safety practitioner and trainer with extensive experience in oil & gas safety management, process safety, pharmaceuticals hazard control, and health & safety management systems. He is a highly qualified professional with the most prestigious degrees in Business Administration, Chemical Engineering, and Occupational Health & Safety.


What are your thoughts about this post?

  1. Excellent post on Monsoon Safety. A vital safety topic rarely covered by anyone else.

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