OSHA Urges Tropical Storm Nicole Recovery Crews to Stay Safe
Numerous hazards continue to plague communities after a storm has passed.
In a recent news release, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) urged all individuals involved in the recovery and cleanup of areas affected by Tropical Storm Nicole to be aware of the many safety risks that the storm has left in its wake.
Tropical Storm Nicole initially came ashore in Florida as a category one hurricane. It weakened to a tropical storm and was later downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone as it moved up the state’s west coast.
Storm recovery could involve hazards related to restoring electricity and communications, removing debris, repairing water damage, repairing or replacing roofs, and trimming trees. OSHA stressed that only people with proper training, equipment, and experience should conduct recovery and cleanup activities.
In weather disasters, OSHA recommends the following protective measures:
- 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
- Operate chainsaws, portable generators, ladders, and other equipment properly
- Use personal protective equipment, such as gloves, hard hats, hearing, foot, and eye protection.
“First responders, recovery workers, and others engaged in storm cleanup can reduce the risks of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities with the proper knowledge, safe work practices, and appropriate personal protective equipment,” said Kurt Petermeyer, OSHA regional administrator in Atlanta.
OSHA maintains a comprehensive website with safety tips to help employers and workers, including tips on keeping workers safe during flood cleanup. Individuals involved in response and recovery efforts can call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).