Workplace exposures

OSHA stresses safety during flood cleanup

Flood PPE

Washington – Recent torrential rains in Texas have prompted OSHA to remind workers, homeowners and others to stay safe while cleaning up after floods.

Each location poses different cleanup challenges, according to OSHA. Damaged structures could collapse, and mold could begin to grow. Chemical hazards could be present in workplaces, so employers should evaluate these hazards and build a chemical inventory, the agency states. Employers and homeowners should ask for help from a safety and health professional when dealing with cleanup.

OSHA offers the following guidance:

  • Wear safety glasses, gloves, steel-toed boots, a reflective vest and a hard hat.
  • Wear waterproof gloves and boots in wet areas.
  • Use respiratory protection, particularly around dust and mold.
  • Use fall protection when working more than 6 feet above ground.
  • Wear hearing protection in loud environments.
  • Wash your hands often. Use hand sanitizer if you cannot wash with soap and water.