Missouri On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program Conducts Hazard Assessment at Tornado-Damaged State Office Building

Company: Missouri's On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program

Location: Jefferson City, Missouri

Tornado touch down on a field

An EF3 tornado touched down in Jefferson City, Missouri, on May 22, 2019, damaging numerous homes and buildings in the city. The Missouri Department of Labor's (DOLIR) Employment Security Building was one of the buildings hit by the tornado. It sustained roof damage in various locations, allowing insulation and other building materials to enter workspaces.

To ensure the safety and health of employees, DOLIR's Director Anna Hui requested assistance from the Division of Labor Standards' Daniel Stark, Certified Industrial Hygienist and Program Manager of Missouri's On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program.

"In the aftermath of the tornado, we wanted to take extra precautions to ensure our building was safe before allowing our team to return to work," says Hui. "Luckily for us we had expert teammates to help us with a thorough assessment of our building, a first step in our recovery efforts."

Stark conducted a hazard assessment of the building on May 27, 2019, to determine sampling locations and to identify other potential safety hazards. No hazards were detected from the day of the sampling, and employees were allowed to return to the building to resume normal operations on May 29, 2019.

The Missouri On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program provides a free, confidential consultation to small, high hazard businesses in the state of Missouri. The program, along with the Missouri Workers' Safety Program and the Missouri Mine and Cave Safety Program, are part of Missouri SafeAtWork, a website providing monthly and yearly injury and illness statistics in the state as well as resources for improving workplace safety and health. The website also includes toolbox talks, sample OSHA programs, and a quarterly newsletter, called "The Safety Zone," which provides seasonal advice and updates. Businesses looking to improve their safety program can find more information and resources at safeatwork.mo.gov.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), On-Site Consultation Program, offers no-cost and confidential occupational safety and health services to small and medium-sized businesses in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. On-Site Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Consultants from state agencies, such as Missouri's On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program, or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice for compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing and improving safety and health programs.

On-Site Consultation is a voluntary program. To locate the OSHA On-Site Consultation Program nearest you, call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) or visit www.osha.gov/consultation.

Source: Daniel Stark, Program Manager, Missouri On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program