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OSHA News Release
Region 5

Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

Region 5 News Release: 06-566-chi
March 28, 2006
Contact: Brad Mitchell
Phone: 312-353-6976

OSHA Urges Safe Tornado Clean-Up
Free Training to Precede Active Enforcement in Springfield, Ill., Area

PEORIA, Ill. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is urging contractors engaged in the massive clean-up following two tornadoes that struck the Springfield, Ill., area in mid-March to work safely, obey workplace safety regulations and make certain that no human tragedies follow the destruction caused by the disastrous weather.

The federal workplace safety agency is offering two outreach meetings at Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC), Tuesday and Wednesday, April 4 and 5, from 5 to 6 p.m. Local contractors can learn more about how to avoid unsafe conditions and refresh their knowledge of safe work practices. Both meetings will be held in Room 215 in the Millennium Center on the main LLCC campus.

During the initial emergency response, OSHA staff provided technical assistance to work crews and individuals, temporarily suspending routine enforcement procedures, such as citing employers for violations and proposing fines.

"Immediately after the tornadoes passed through the area, we sent teams of safety professionals to Springfield to advise contractors and others on safe work practices," said OSHA's Peoria Area Director John Newquist. "We approached workers who were exposed to falls, working with chain saws, wood chippers and electrical equipment, and reminded them of the safety hazards associated with their activities."

Newquist said the immediate emergency phase is now over, and OSHA compliance staff will resume regular enforcement. He said that roofing work will be of particular concern in the coming months.

"The free outreach program we're scheduling for next week will help contractors achieve zero fatalities and zero serious injuries during this clean-up period," according to Newquist. "That's why we are urging those responsible for the safety and health of their workers to take advantage of this opportunity."

Contractors interested in learning more about OSHA regulations and safe work practices may gain additional information about the outreach effort by contacting William Hancock at the Peoria OSHA office at 309-589-7033.

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit

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