The Providence Area OSHA Office is providing technical assistance to employers, contractors, business owners and others performing cleanup and recovery activities resulting from the recent record-breaking flooding that has engulfed Rhode Island, according to an agency press release.
"The safety and health of individuals performing this vital work is our primary concern," said Patrick Griffin, OSHA's Rhode Island area director. "We want to make certain that they are aware of the hazards associated with their activities and of how best to minimize and prevent those hazards. Recovery work should not put you in the recovery room."
Over the next 30 days, OSHA will be visiting cleanup sites throughout the Ocean State in an advisory capacity to observe activities, and offer employers and workers information and guidance on identifying and addressing cleanup hazards.
Those hazards can include contaminated water, mold, heat stress, exposure to the elements, carbon monoxide poisoning, drowning, toxic or oxygen-deficient confined spaces, falls, electrocution, crushing and struck-by hazards.
OSHA maintains a comprehensive Web site on keeping disaster site workers safe during cleanup and recovery operations: http://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/flood-tornado-recovery.html. It contains fact sheets, concise "quick cards," frequently asked questions, safety and health guides and information, public service announcements in English and Spanish, and links to information from other sources.