In the aftermath of a tornado, workers may be involved in a variety of response and recovery operations. The following are general guidelines that may be applicable to workers involved in assessing and/or cleaning up the damage to their worksite. However, some operations, such as utility restoration, cleaning up spills of hazardous materials, and search and rescue, should only be conducted by workers who have the proper training, equipment and experience.
Response and recovery work in tornado-impacted areas presents safety and health hazards that should be properly identified, evaluated, and controlled in a systematic manner to reduce or eliminate occupational safety and health risks to response and recovery workers. Some of the specific hazards associated with working in the aftermath of tornadoes include:
See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for additional precautions to take after a tornado.
OSHA has the following materials to assist employers with assessing and controlling the hazards common to most response and recovery work in tornado-impacted areas.
For additional information see the Occupational Heat Exposure Safety and Health Topics page.
For more information, see other Emergency Response Resources from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) or for a full list of related materials, see the Additional Resources page.
*Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300 for assistance accessing PDF materials.
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