On Aug. 30, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a statement urging response crews and residents to recognize hazards in areas affected by Hurricane Ida. Health and safety hazards may be created by flooding, power loss, structural damage, fallen trees, and storm debris.
Only individuals with proper equipment, training, and experience should conduct cleanup and recovery activities. Dangerous conditions may exist for those restoring electricity and communications, removing debris, repairing water damage, repairing or replacing roofs, and trimming trees.
“When Mother Nature hits us hard, there are people whose jobs help keep others safe. As they enter disaster areas, they need to do their jobs as safely as possible,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer in Atlanta.
“Employers must follow safe work practices, provide training on worksite hazards and ensure the use of appropriate personal protective equipment to reduce the risk of injuries.”
Protective measures for Hurricane Ida storm clean-up
Here are OSHA’s top health and safety tips for response and recovery workers:
- Evaluate the work area for hazards
- Assess the stability of structures and walking surfaces
- Ensure fall protection when working on elevated surfaces
- Assume all power lines are live
- Keep portable generators outside
- Stay hydrated and protect against hazardous heat exposure
- Operate chainsaws, ladders and other equipment properly
- Use personal protective equipment, such as gloves, hard hats, and hearing, foot and eye safeguards
OSHA has an extensive website including a Hurricane eMatrix where employers can reference the best practices for clean up and recovery.
With hurricane season underway, it’s important to be ready in the event of other hurricanes or disasters.
The best way to make sure your workplace is prepared is to develop emergency plans. Every employer should have an emergency plan in place that includes guidance on taking shelter, methods for accounting for personnel, and procedures for addressing any hazardous materials that may be on-site.
Keep an eye on weather forecasts to know when to stock up on supplies such as batteries and flashlights—so you can be prepared if severe weather strikes.
About Worksite Medical
In most cases, OSHA requires medical surveillance testing, and at no cost to employees.
Worksite Medical makes that program easier with mobile medical testing.
We conduct on-site respirator fit tests, as well as audiometric exams, pulmonary function tests and heavy metal lab work, right on your job site. We also keep accurate, easy-to-access medical records for your convenience. You’ll keep your employees at work, and stay ahead of OSHA inspections.
With Worksite Medical, a mobile medical testing unit — we can bring all the resources of a lab to you. Our certified lab technicians can perform both qualitative and quantitative respirator tests to ensure a perfect fit.
Protect your team and your workplace now with Worksite Medical. Not sure what you need? Try our medical testing wizard here.
Give us a call at 1-844-622-8633, or complete the form below to schedule an on-site visit or to get your free quote!