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As cleanup begins, OSHA warns employers to watch for hazards

Resource officers will assist in recovery efforts after devastating storms hit Midwest

Posted March 10, 2017

In early March, a series of severe storms devastated communities in the Midwest. More than 30 tornadoes descended on the region, destroying homes and businesses.

As the cleanup effort begins, OSHA warns recovery workers, employers, and the public to be aware of hazards they may encounter. OSHA Region 7 resource officers will communicate with emergency responders in hard-hit areas to provide advice and distribute literature to assist in a safe cleanup of the damage.

OSHA says protective measures should involve:

  • Evaluating work areas for all hazards.
  • Monitoring task-specific hazard exposure.
  • Using engineering or work practice controls to mitigate hazards.
  • Having and using personal protective equipment.
  • Assuming all power lines are live.
  • Following proper hygiene procedures.
  • Using portable generators, saws, ladders, vehicles and other equipment correctly.
  • Creating traffic work zones.

OSHA directs employers and others to its disaster recovery website, which provides comprehensive information on keeping disaster site workers safe during cleanup and recovery operations.

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