Take a Look at the Five Key Sections from OSHA on Safety, Post-Storm
Hurricanes have a way of quickly turning a site of normally safe working conditions into a site of very dangerous working conditions— as the wicked storms called Harvey and Irma reminded everyone in Texas and Florida this summer.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has a website that deals with just this scenario. The site, a reminder to employers that their workers have a right to a safe workplace— even in the midst of hurricane-created chaos and destruction— offers a host of resources that shed additional light on and promote post-storm safety.
The website is OSHA’s Hurricane eMatrix. The Hazard Exposure and Risk Assessment Matrix, OSHA describes “provides information on many of the most common additional and significant additional hazards that response and recovery workers might encounter when working in an area recently devastated by a hurricane. … The Matrix is designed to help employers make decisions during their risk assessment that will protect their workers working in hurricane-impacted areas.”
The Hurricane eMatrix has five key sections for post-storm safety:
- How to Use This Matrix—An Essential First Step
- Employer Responsibilities and Worker Rights and Responsibilities
- General Recommendations for All Employers and Response and Recovery Workers
- Summary of Response and Recovery Worker Exposure Sampling and Monitoring Information
- Activity Sheets with Health and Safety Information for Specific Response and Recovery Operations
The key tab among the key sections might well be General Recommendations — considerations for post-storm safety hazards that can range from flooding to contact with live electrical equipment to animal bites. The tab offers:
- Best Practices for Hurricane Response and Recovery Operations (Hazard Control, Personal Protective Equipment, Structural Instability, etc.)
- Recommendations for General Hazards Commonly Encountered During Hurricane Response and Recovery Operations
- General References
Employers who go through this eMatrix will find a lot of common sense among the OSHA safety recommendations, but given the fact that hurricanes can turn common sense — like everything else — on its head, there’s a lot of value in putting common sense in black and white for everyone to consider.
If you have questions about post-storm safety, or other ways we can help keep your staff safe at work, contact us today.