Injury prevention

OSHA offers post-Joaquin cleanup advice


Atlanta – OSHA is urging recovery workers in North Carolina and South Carolina to use caution during cleanup efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Joaquin.

The hurricane remained offshore but caused record rainfalls in the Carolinas, leading to extensive flooding that killed more than a dozen people.

Storm cleanup can involve several types of work, including utilities restoration, debris removal, roadway repair and emergency response, according to an Oct. 6 OSHA press release. To minimize the risk of injuries, workers should be given the proper training and equipment needed for cleanup activities. The agency recommends cleanup workers take the following protective measures:

  • Evaluate the work area for hazards.
  • Mitigate hazards with engineering or work practice controls.
  • Use personal protective equipment.
  • Assume all power lines are live.

“Recovery work should not put you in the hospital emergency room,” Kurt Petermeyer, OSHA regional administrator in Atlanta, said in the release. “A range of safety and health hazards exist following storms. You may minimize these dangers with knowledge, safe work practices and personal protective equipment.”