tornadoWith tornado season in full swing,OSHA is taking steps to provide on-site and compliance assistance to people engaged in cleanup activities.

"The safety and health of these cleanup crews is our chief concern, and we are on the ground in affected areas providing compliance assistance," said Greg Baxter, OSHA's acting regional administrator in Chicago. "Storm recovery efforts expose workers to a wide range of hazards, which can be minimized by knowledge, safe work practices and personal protective equipment."

Hazards involved in cleanup work may include illness from exposure to contaminated water or food, downed electrical wires, carbon monoxide and electrical hazards from portable generators, fall and struck-by hazards from tree-trimming or working at heights, being caught in unprotected excavations or confined spaces, burns, lacerations, musculoskeletal injuries, exposure to hazardous materials, and being struck by traffic or heavy equipment.

Workers and employers involved in recovery efforts can call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) for assistance. Fact sheets, quick cards and other educational materials on safe work practices and personal protective equipment are available on the agency's Tornado Recovery Web page at