Natural and artificial disasters aren’t always preventable. In fact, they’re likely to become even more frequent in years to come. And, once the wildfire is extinguished or the storm has passed, that doesn’t mean the danger is over. How can we protect disaster cleanup teams from these safety risks?
Substandard conditions in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey have impacted workers’ health and safety on the job, as well as their wages according to a devastating new report from from the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) and University of Illinois Chicago that surveyed 360 workers. The report also offers recommendations for improving working conditions during post-disaster recovery operations.
Hurricanes and other disasters present a major challenge for OSHA and other local and national government agencies dedicated to protecting workers during recovery operations.
With wildfires posing a current and – no doubt – future threat to California’s residents and its environment, the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) is urging California Governor Jerry Brown to turn to the experts – industrial hygienists – when it comes to protecting the health and safety of residents and recovery workers.
“AIHA and its members are ready now, and we will remain ready to assist you in recovery efforts throughout the days to come,” wrote AIHA President Deborah Imel Nelson PhD, CIH and California Industrial Hygiene Council President Pamela Murcell, CIH in a letter to Brown.
Hurricane response “a landmark in the evolution of drone usage”
September 19, 2017
After the widespread devastation Hurricane Irma wreaked on Florida, unmanned aircraft – more popularly, drones – have been invaluable in supporting response and recovery efforts in the battered Sunshine State.
At FEMA’s request, OSHA personnel headed the Joint Field Office in Austin, Texas to develop an incident-specific health and safety plan to protect workers during the cleanup and recovery operations following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey.
What workers are at increased risk of injury during hurricanes or tornados?
While most workers can stay inside during such a storm, some workers may be required to go into the storm. This may include utility workers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, federal, state and local government personnel (such as sanitation and highway workers), and military personnel.
A group of Orangeburg Department of Public Utilities (DPU) linemen gathered at Love’s Travel Stop on U.S. 301 Wednesday to meet workers from other departments. They then took off for Florida to help with the Hurricane Irma response.
More than 7.1 million customers were without power across Florida and in parts of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina as a result of Hurricane Irma. As the storm moved through the region, companies were able to address more than 1.25 million outages, due largely to recent investments in energy grid technology and automation.