OSHA Issues Alert on Dangers Involving Cleanup, Recovery from Hurricanes

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is urging employers and workers to take appropriate safety measures to avoid injury and illnesses associated with the recovery and cleanup efforts following hurricanes.

The potential for fatal accidents involving electrocution from power lines, as well as serious injuries associated with cleanup and recovery efforts, have prompted the agency to remind employers, workers and the public to ensure that they observe appropriate safety and health precautions while performing cleanup and utility restoration operations. This includes coordinating with control centers responsible for power circuits so that workers do not enter areas where there are live wires.

“Now that the hurricane season is upon us it’s important to remember that even after a storm is over, the dangers are not-particularly for workers restoring power lines, cutting down tree limbs, and doing other cleanup and recovery work,” said Jonathan Snare, acting assistant secretary of Labor for OSHA. “This type of work can be very hazardous and accidents can cost lives.”

Information on avoiding hazards and safely cleaning up after a hurricane is available from OSHA to help workers who are involved in recovery and restoration efforts.