OSHA "Tools" Help Sustain Worker Safety During Hurricane Recovery Efforts

Informational materials produced by OSHA are helping employers and workers better address safety and health hazards associated with hurricane clean-up and recovery.

"Our goal is safe and healthy workers," said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jonathan L. Snare. "These materials provide concise, expert information that will help workers avoid the vast array of hazards they will encounter during the Gulf Coast clean-up and recovery operations."

OSHA safety and health experts have already developed 37 fact sheets and eight "quick cards" – two-sided, 4-by-9 inch cards with safety and health tips – on hazards such as molds and fungi, downed electrical wires and general decontamination, to name a few. Thousands of these "tools" have been printed, laminated and put in the hands of clean-up and recovery workers throughout the Gulf Coast area.

In response to specific requests from workers and employers, OSHA is developing more quick cards on topics such as demolition, hydrogen sulfide, lead in construction, permit-required confined spaces, struck-by hazards during hurricane recovery and tree trimming. Additional information on other topics will be developed on a continuing basis.

Hurricane-related job safety and health information is easily accessible for downloading through OSHA's hurricane recovery page on the Web. This site, which is updated daily, features links to public service announcements to inform workers about hazards related to response and clean-up. Links are provided to safety and health information bulletins focusing on topics such as respiratory protection and workplace precautions against West Nile Virus. Visitors can find information on frequently-asked questions and training programs and also link to other government resources.

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