Dec. 14, 2006
Contact: Elaine Fraser
Phone: (202) 693-1999
WASHINGTON -- Employers and employees involved in hurricane cleanup and recovery efforts will benefit from a new Web-based resource, Hurricane eMatrix: Hazard Exposure and Risk Assessment Matrix for Hurricane Response and Recovery Work, unveiled today by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
"This is an important new tool to help educate employees and employers on how to address the most common and significant hazards that they may encounter during hurricane response and recovery work," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Edwin G. Foulke Jr. "It provides practical information to employers so they can better assess risks and choose the appropriate control measures, work practices, personal protective equipment and training to protect their employees working in hurricane-impacted areas."
Response and recovery work encompasses a wide range of specific tasks and operations that can present serious occupational safety and health hazards to employees. The Hurricane eMatrix is a tool that incorporates occupational hazards information, observations, recommendations and data that OSHA gathered and distributed during its response effort to hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.
The eMatrix offers users access to general recommendations, sampling and monitoring data, and employer/employee responsibilities applicable for any employers conducting response and recovery operations after a disaster. It also features 29 individual task- and operation-specific activity sheets that help employers evaluate hazards and provides guidance on reducing employee exposures during disaster operations like debris collection, tree trimming, utility restoration, building demolition and others.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 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 working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this release will be made available in alternative format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202-693-7773 or TTY 202-693-7755.