Workers cleaning up after Colorado floods should use caution
Waters may have receded, but hazards remain
OSHA is urging workers, residents and businesses engaged in flood cleanup in Colorado to protect themselves against hazards as cleanup efforts continue and rebuilding activities begin.
Workers and residents can be exposed to many safety and health hazards while conducting cleanup and restoration activities, such as restoring electricity, communications, water and sewer services; demolition activities; removal of floodwater from structures; tree trimming; structural, roadway, bridge, dam and levee repair; use of cranes, aerial lifts and other heavy equipment; and hazardous waste operations. Only workers with proper training, equipment and experience should conduct these activities.
Protective measures should involve evaluating the work area for all hazards; monitoring task-specific hazard exposure; employing engineering or work-practice controls to mitigate hazards; using personal protective equipment; exercising caution, and assuming that all power lines are live; following proper hygiene procedures; properly using portable generators, saws, ladders, vehicles and other equipment; and paying attention to safety precautions for traffic work zones.
OSHA is providing informational resources about protective measures that should be employed during cleanup work. Fact sheets, quick cards and other educational materials on safe work practices and personal protective equipment are currently available at many Disaster Assistance and Recovery Centers along the Front Range.
Agency personnel will be available on-site at some Disaster Assistance and Recovery Centers to answer questions and respond to concerns. To reach local representatives who can provide assistance, please call the agency's Denver Area Office at 303-844-5285; Englewood Area Office at 303-843-4500; or OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742). Additional publications in both English and Spanish can also be found on the agency's flood response and recovery operations page at www.osha.gov/dts/weather/flood/ and www.osha.gov/dts/weather/flood/spanish/index_sp.html.