Disaster recovery workers, public should be aware of hazards dur - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Disaster recovery workers, public should be aware of hazards during storm cleanup

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
ATLANTA, GA (Mississippi News Now) -

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration urges Mississippi residents recovering from the impact of severe weather to be aware of the hazards they may encounter and take necessary steps to stay safe.

Only workers provided with the proper training, equipment and experience should conduct cleanup activities. State and federal officials are asking the public not to self-deploy, but sign up for relief efforts at msdisasterresponse.org.

“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," said Petermeyer.

Storm and tornado cleanup work may involve hazards related to restoring electricity, communications, and water and sewer services. In addition, areas affected by flooding have unique cleanup challenges, including dam and levee repair, removal of floodwater from structures, and repairing downed electrical wires in standing water.

OSHA maintains a comprehensive website to keep disaster site workers safe during preparedness, response and recovery operations.

Protective measures should include the following:

  • 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.

Individuals involved in recovery efforts may call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or visit the agency’s website to reach local representatives who can provide on-site assistance.

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