After a series of tornadoes struck parts of north Texas last week, causing at least 11 deaths and extensive destruction of property, OSHA coordinated with local officials to ensure the safety of recovery workers and responders.
The agency’s Dallas office dispatched three teams of Compliance Safety and Health Officers to the most damaged areas - Garland, Glenn Heights/Ovilla/Ellis County, and Rowlett - to deliver safety and health information to recovery contractors and workers. The teams also sought to ensure that workers conducting cleanup activities had the proper training and equipment.
"Recovery work should not put you in the hospital emergency room," said John Hermanson, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas. He noted that workers could encounter hazards related to restoring electricity, communications, and water and sewer services, as well as demolition, tree trimming, debris removal and more.
To spread the word, Hermanson issued a local news release urging caution and pointing to OSHA's extensive web resources on tornado preparation and cleanup. "OSHA wants to make certain that all working men and women, including volunteers, return home at the end of the workday," he said.