U.S. Department of Labor Urges Workers and the Public to be Vigilant And Mindful of Hazards During Tropical Storm Gordon Cleanup

September 6, 2018

ATLANTA, GA – Emergency crews and residents of the Gulf Coast region of Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi faced with debris caused by Tropical Storm Gordon should be aware of hazards they may encounter and take steps to stay safe, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) urges.

“Workers involved in storm cleanup can face a range of safety and health hazards,” said Occupational Safety and Health Administration Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer. “Risks can be minimized with knowledge, safe work practices, and personal protective equipment.”

Cleanup work after the storm may involve hazards related to restoring electricity and communications, debris cleanup, roof repair, and tree trimming. Only those with the proper training, equipment, and experience should conduct cleanup activities.

Protective measures for cleanup activities after a weather disaster should include the following:

Evaluating the work area for hazards
Fall protection for elevated surfaces
Assuming all power lines are live
Using chainsaws, portable generators, ladders, and other equipment properly
Using personal protective equipment, such as gloves, hard hats, hearing and foot protection
OSHA maintains a comprehensive website with safety tips to help employers and workers. Individuals involved in response and cleanup efforts may call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or visit the Agency’s website to reach representatives in Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi who can provide on-site assistance.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.