Floods can be serious catastrophes and they are one of the most common hazards in the United States. Floods can be caused by a variety of factors, including a sudden accumulation of rain, rising rivers, tidal surges, ice jams and dam failures.
Workers who have to respond to flooded areas face the greatest risks from floods, but all workers can help protect themselves by preparing evacuation plans and learning about the hazards commonly associated with floods.
The Preparedness page provides information on making an evacuation plan, emergency supply kits, and flood watches and warnings. This planning information can help you ensure that you are ready to evacuate in an orderly manner before rising waters impact your business or residence, or your evacuation routes.
The Response/Recovery page provides useful details on the hazards to avoid when flooding has occurred. This includes areas to avoid when using a vehicle, and safety and health hazards such as downed electrical lines, mold and wild animals.
Employer Responsibilities and Workers' Rights
Each employer is responsible for the safety and health of its workers and for providing a safe and healthful workplace for its workers. Employers are required to protect workers from the anticipated hazards associated with the flood response and recovery operations that workers are likely to conduct.
OSHA’s role is to assure the safety and health of America’s workers. The OSHA at a Glance [117 KB PDF*, 3 pages] publication provides information on the strategies and programs OSHA uses to promote worker safety and health. For additional information on Workers' Rights, Employer Responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA’s Compliance Assistance/Outreach Page, Workers Page and Publications.
Accessibility Assistance: Contact the OSHA Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300 for assistance accessing PDF materials.