In the aftermath of Hurricane Joaquin, OSHA is urging recovery workers in the floodwater-stricken area of North Carolina and South Carolina to use caution.
“Recovery work should not put you in the hospital emergency room,” said Kurt Petermeyer, OSHA’s regional administrator in Atlanta.
“A range of safety and health hazards exist following storms. You may minimize these dangers with knowledge, safe work practices and personal protective equipment. OSHA wants to make certain that all working men and women, including volunteers, return home at the end of the workday.”
Hurricane cleanup could involve hazards with electricity, communications, water and sewer, debris cleanup, tree trimming, structural repair, hazardous waste operations and emergency response activities, as well as the flood-associated concerns of dam and levee repair, removal of floodwater from structures and repairing downed electrical wires in standing water.
OSHA offers the following tips for hurricane recovery workers:
- Evaluating the work area for hazards.
- Employing engineering or work practice controls to mitigate hazards.
- Using personal protective equipment.
- Assuming all power lines are live.
- Using portable generators, saws, ladders, vehicles and other equipment properly.
- Heeding safety precautions for traffic work zones.