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OSHA South: be careful when cleaning up after a storm (2/9)

February 9, 2007
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OSHA Region 4 this week urged employers and workers to take appropriate safety measures to avoid injury and illnesses associated with the recovery and cleanup efforts following recent Florida storms.

The potential for fatal accidents involving electrocution from power lines, as well as serious injuries associated with cleanup and recovery efforts, has prompted the agency to remind employers, employees 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 employees do not enter areas where there are live wires.

“It’s important to remember that even after severe weather is over, the dangers are not over for employees doing cleanup and recovery activities,” said Cindy Coe Laseter, OSHA’s regional administrator in Atlanta. “This type of work can be very hazardous and accidents can cost lives.”

Information on avoiding hazards and safely cleaning up after severe weather is available from OSHA to help employees who are involved in recovery and restoration efforts. Fact sheets on issues and hazards relating to recovery and cleanup efforts following hurricanes are available on the agency’s Natural Disaster Recovery page at www.osha.gov/OshDoc/hurricaneRecovery.html.

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