Following a tornado that caused millions of dollars of property damage in the Wilkes-Barre, Penn., area, the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is urging all involved in cleanup and rebuilding to be vigilant about safety.
Employees cleaning after the storm may be exposed to hazards, including heat-related illnesses, downed electric lines, sharp debris, slips, trips and falls and struck-by objects, OSHA stated in a press release.
It warned employees to be aware of hazards from equipment used during response and recovery operations and added those working outdoors may be at risk for heat stress.
Every year, dozens of employees suffer fatal heat-related illnesses, and thousands more become ill while working in extreme heat or humid conditions, according to the release. More than 40 percent of heat-related fatalities occur in the construction industry, but workers in every field are susceptible, OSHA said.
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