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Keeping Workers Safe During Flood Cleanup

Although you can’t control the hurricanes and floods affecting businesses and homes everywhere – you can know how to keep yourself and your team safe during clean up.

The information below from OSHA’s web site points out several considerations to be aware of after the flood.

Also, be sure to click on the links below for on-site consultation programs and area assistance for your specific location.

According to OSHA, workers responding to the cleanup from floods may be exposed to serious hazards including electrical, fallen trees and debris, mold, and carbon monoxide. OSHA reminds employers that worker safety is a priority and the agency has resources available to protect workers from hazards associated with flood response operations.

Generators Use gas and dieselpowered generators outdoors to prevent exposure to carbon monoxide a colorless, odorless,
poisonous gas.

Electrical Keep a safe distance from downed or damaged power lines. Repairs must be performed by trained electrical utility workers.

Downed Trees Wear protective gloves, and foot, eye, hearing, head, and fall protection when using chainsaws and chippers to clear
downed trees

Chemical/Biological Hazards Wash hands with soap and clean water, and wear protective clothing, goggles, gloves, and boots to avoid contamination.

For more information on common hazards after a flood, visit OSHA’s Flood Preparedness and Response page.

Employers can also take advantage of OSHA’s OnSite Consultation Program, which offers nocost and confidential occupational safety and health services to small and mediumsized businesses.

Consultation services are separate from enforcement, and do not result in penalties or citations.

Contact the local OSHA area office for assistance