OSHA Offers Worker Safety Resources for Hurricane and Flood Cleanup and Recovery

September 14, 2017 Dave Anderson

Emergencies like recent hurricanes Harvey and Irma can create a variety of hazards for workers in the impacted areas. The OSHA website has a variety of resources to help employers keep their workers safe when hurricanes and floods strike  - and during cleanup and recovery operations.

OSHA recently updated the Worker Safety and Health Resources for Hurricane and Flood Cleanup and Recovery page to provide information for employers and workers across industries, and for workers responding to emergencies.

Topics include:

  • Hurricanes
  • Floods
  • General response and recovery
  • PPE
  • Heat
  • Falls
  • Electrical
  • Generators
  • Tree trimming, chain saws and wood chippers
  • Demolition and debris removal
  • Animal hazards
  • Mold
  • Other contaminants

Flood Response/Recovery

In the aftermath of a flood, workers may be involved in a variety of response and recovery operations. The following are general guidelines that may be applicable to workers involved in assessing and/or cleaning up the damage to their worksite. However, some operations, such as utility restoration, cleaning up spills of hazardous materials, and search and rescue, should only be conducted by workers who have the proper training, equipment and experience.

The Response / Recovery page provides a brief summary of common hazards associated with floods as well as precautions that can be taken to protect against those hazards.

OSHA Emergency Response Resources

You can review an entire page of OSHA resources on emergency response, including QuickCards and Fact Sheets on the OSHA Resources page. A separate page of additional Flood Response Resources includes links to materials from the CDC, NIOSH, FEMA, American Red Cross and many more.

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