The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released a statement urging all recovery workers, employers, and the public to use extreme caution during recovery efforts following the damaging tornadoes that struck the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area on April 3, 2012.
OSHA is providing on-site compliance assistance to recovery workers and volunteers to ensure they are aware of the hazards they may encounter, and the necessary steps they should take to remain safe and healthy.
"Our main concern is the safety of the workers conducting cleanup activities. Our Dallas and Fort Worth compliance assistance staff are on the ground in affected areas providing assistance," said John Hermanson, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas. "Workers are exposed to a wide array of hazards during storm recovery efforts that can be minimized by knowledge, safe work practices, and the use of personal protective equipment."
Hazards include downed electrical wires, carbon monoxide poisoning, fall and struck-by dangers from tree trimming or working at heights, burns, lacerations, and exposure to dangerous materials and heavy equipment. Protect workers from these hazards by supplying appropriate safety products, such as hard hats, work gloves, fall protection, safety glasses, and respiratory protection.