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October 31, 2012
Keep Workers Safe During Hurricane Recovery

Hurricane Sandy is gone, but not the headaches and difficulties of recovery left in its wake. However, there are considerable resources available to help you make a quick and thorough recovery while keeping your workers safe. Some of the tasks that will need to be performed include:

  • Evaluate new hazards or changes in conditions that increase the risk from existing hazards including exposure to electrocution and electrical shock, exposure to air contaminants including carbon monoxide, musculoskeletal disorders from repetitive work tasks, heat stress, exposure to cold, damaged motor vehicles, hazardous chemicals, fire, confined space hazards, and falls. See the federal NIOSH website, What Services Can CDC/NIOSH Provide to Employers and Employees Involved in a Hurricane Recovery? for assistance.
  • Implement hazard controls.
  • Communicate with workers, supervisors, and in some cases with the general public about your efforts.
  • Train workers to identify the hazards and how to prevent injury and illness during recovery efforts.
  • Identify and deploy any special equipment, including personal protective equipment, that will be needed to protect workers involved in recovery efforts.

Click on the following resources to help you recover in the aftermath.

Disaster Recovery Business Continuity Plan -- This safety Emergency Preparedness plan “Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity” can be used in an EHS plan handbook or

Business Resumption and Disaster Safety Checklist/ -- There is no one-size-fits-all solution for business resumption following a disaster. However, the American Society of

Disaster Recovery safety meeting -- This safety meeting is suggested for employees who have the responsibility of developing or evaluating a disaster recovery or business continuity plan for their company. It is designed to highlight some of the elements necessary to prepare for an emergency and a plan to get a company back into full operation as quickly as possible following any type of disaster.

Emergency Response Resources (NIOSH website) -- additional NIOSH storm/flood and hurricane response information well organized in to common hazard categories and response tasks.

OSHA's Hurricane eMatrix Tool -- In this Hazard Exposure and Risk Assessment Matrix, OSHA provides information on many of the most common and significant additional hazards that response and recovery workers might encounter when working in an area recently devastated by a hurricane. This Matrix highlights a number of tasks and operations associated with disaster response and recovery.

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