January 24, 2023
US Department of Labor resumes regular enforcement activitiesin 18 Florida counties affected by Hurricane Ian
Who: U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration
What: OSHA has resumed normal enforcement throughout Florida after suspending most programmed enforcement actions in the hurricane's aftermath. With these actions on-hold, OSHA provided compliance assistance and outreach to employers and workers involved in the clean-up and recovery operations in 18 counties affected by the storm, namely Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole and Volusia.
Background: During the enforcement pause, OSHA offered technical assistance to protect the safety and health of thousands of crews and individual workers. This assistance included 950 interventions where OSHA removed more than 3,800 employees from hazards. In addition, the agency educated more than 8,000 recovery workers on how to protect themselves from the hazards they faced. To reach the greatest number of workers, OSHA collaborated with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network to provide worker training in Spanish, conducted an OSHA 10-hour course, and handed out personal protective equipment and publications in the hardest hit areas. While programmed enforcement was delayed, OSHA retained its right to inspect fatalities, catastrophic accidents, employee complaints and employers who repeatedly exposed workers to serious hazards during clean-up and recovery.
Employers and employees working in these areas may continue to call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or visit the agency's website to reach Florida representatives who can provide on-site assistance.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.
Quote: "While OSHA has resumed regular enforcement operations in areas affected by Hurricane Ian, we will continue to assist employers and workers in those isolated areas that suffered the brunt of the storm," explained OSHA Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer in Atlanta. "As these areas continue their recoveries toward normal operations, we will monitor these areas closely."
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Release Number: 23-113-ATL (14)