US Labor Department urges storm recovery workers, public to be aware of hazards during storm cleanup

US Labor Department urges storm recovery workers, public to be aware of hazards during storm cleanup

MISSISSIPPI (WDAM) - The U.S. Department of Labor advises the public, Mississippi emergency workers and employers to be aware of the hazards associated with the impacts of severe storms and tornadoes.

According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, storm and tornado cleanup could involve hazards when restoring electricity, water and sewer services and communications.

""Recovery work should not send you to the hospital emergency room," said Kurt Petermeyer in a press release, OSHA's regional administrator in Atlanta. He said one can minimize these dangers with 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," Petermeyer said in the press release.

Other hazards include debris cleanup, debris cleanup, tree trimming, demolition activities, roadway and bridge repair, hazardous waste operations, etc.

Flooded areas also have their cleanup challenges including removal of floodwater from structures and repairing downed electrical wires.

According to the press release, OHSA has resources [Link] for both tornado and storm cleanup as well as flood preparedness.

OHSA wants the public to remember that "only workers provided with proper training, equipment and experience should conduct cleanup activities."

According to the press release, OHSA advises workers to take the following protective measures:

  • Evaluating all work areas 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.

For more information, click here.