Federal agencies Injury prevention Fire/emergency medical services

‘Plan ahead’: OSHA spotlights resources for emergency preparedness, response

Emergency Response

Washington — Spurred by destructive hurricanes and wildfires in parts of the country in recent months, OSHA is calling attention to its Emergency Preparedness and Response webpage, reminding employers to “plan ahead,” “know the hazards” and “keep safe.”

The site includes resources to help keep workers, including first responders, safe during and after emergency events such as:

  • Natural disasters and extreme weather (earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, etc.).
  • Biological, bomb/explosion, and chemical incidents or radiation emergencies.
  • The spread of disease agents and toxins (anthrax, botulism, Zika, Ebola, pandemic influenza, etc.).

The resources have information on how to prepare and train for the emergencies and any hazards that may arise. OSHA also provides eTools, guidance documents and fact sheets.

“Emergencies can create a variety of hazards for workers in the impacted area,” the webpage states. “Preparing before an emergency incident plays a vital role in ensuring that employers and workers have the necessary equipment, know where to go and know how to keep themselves safe when an emergency occurs.”

September is National Preparedness Month. In conjunction with the annual initiative, the National Safety Council is calling for Americans to develop emergency kits and plans. According to NSC, in 2017, 59,985 weather events resulted in 592 deaths and 4,270 injuries.

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