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National News Release
USDL 04-1655-NAT
Aug. 23, 2004
Contact: Al Belsky
Phone: (202) 693-1999


OSHA on the Ground in Florida and Assisting Workers Involved in Hurricane
Cleanup and Recovery Operations
Public Service Announcement Video Available

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao today announced that she has dispatched more than 30 safety and health experts from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to provide technical assistance and help ensure that the thousands of workers responding to the aftermath of Hurricane Charley in Florida remain safe.

"We now have a team of more than two dozen OSHA safety and health professionals onsite in the devastated communities whose sole mission is to help assure that no more injuries or fatalities occur during the continued cleanup and recovery process," said Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao. "It is critically important that the thousands of men and women who are working around the clock to clean up and rebuild their communities have the proper skills, training and equipment to do their job safely. The relief efforts following Hurricane Charley and Tropical Storm Bonnie must not be allowed to claim another life."

"The cleanup and restoration work under these conditions is extremely hazardous," added OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "Our presence has already made a difference; in one case we provided assistance which corrected a serious hazard associated with a trench at a demolition site in Punta Gorda. If this had not been addressed, this situation could have resulted in serious injury or loss of life."

The Labor Department today also released a video public service announcement (PSA) featuring Henshaw that urges workers involved in the Florida cleanup and recovery effort to remember important safety tips and to contact OSHA for more information about how to stay as safe and healthy as possible while on the job. The video news release is available to Florida television stations by calling (202) 693-4676, or via satellite on Monday, August 23, 2004 from 1:00 to 1:30 p.m. eastern time at IA (Telstar) 5 Transponder 19 C-Band Downlink Frequency: 4080(V)

Henshaw has also recorded five audio public service announcements on specific hazards that workers are routinely exposed to during cleanup and restoration operations. They include: flooding, mold, falls, electrical, and chainsaws. Click on the topic for more detailed information. Radio stations may record these public service announcements for broadcast by logging onto the Labor Department's audio news service at http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/audio/.

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 www.osha.gov.


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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.


Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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