Region 6 News Release: 12-655-DAL
April 4, 2012
Contact: Juan Rodriguez
US Labor Department's OSHA provides on-site compliance assistance to
protect recovery workers, public during tornado recovery efforts in Texas
DALLAS – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration urges recovery workers, employers and the public to exercise caution during cleanup efforts following the tornadoes that touched down on April 3 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. OSHA is on-site and providing compliance assistance to workers and members of the public conducting these activities about the hazards they may encounter, as well as the steps they should take to stay safe and healthy.
"Our main concern is the safety of the workers conducting cleanup activities. Our Dallas and Fort Worth compliance assistance staff are on the ground in affected areas providing assistance," said John Hermanson, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas. "Workers are exposed to a wide array of hazards during storm recovery efforts that can be minimized by knowledge, safe work practices and the use of personal protective equipment."
Hazards involved in cleanup work may include illness from exposure to contaminated water or food, heat exhaustion, downed electrical wires, carbon monoxide poisoning and electrical shocks from portable generators, fall and struck-by dangers from tree-trimming or working at heights, being caught in unprotected excavations or confined spaces, burns, lacerations, musculoskeletal injuries, exposure to dangerous materials and being struck by traffic or heavy equipment.
OSHA also is reminding employers that they are responsible for providing their workers a safe and healthful workplace. Employers are required to protect workers from the anticipated hazards associated with response and recovery operations.
Individuals involved in recovery efforts can call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742), the agency's Dallas Area Office at 214-320-2400 or its Fort Worth Area Office at 817-428-2470 to reach local representatives who can provide on-site assistance. Fact sheets, quick cards and other educational materials on safe work practices and personal protective equipment are available on the agency's Tornado Recovery Web page at http://www.osha.gov/dts/weather/tornado/index.html.
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. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.