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Region 6 News Release: 14-729-DAL
April 30, 2014
Contact: Diana Petterson      Juan Rodriguez
Phone: 972-850-4710      972-850-4710
Email: petterson.diana@dol.gov      rodriguez.juan@dol.gov

US Labor Department urges storm recovery workers and public
to be vigilant and aware of hazards during storm cleanup

DALLAS – A series of severe storms has been raging through parts of the Midwest, South and Eastern United States since Sunday. The violent weather devastated a number of communities in Arkansas and Oklahoma. As residents recover from these events, the U.S. Department of Labors Occupational Safety and Health Administration urges recovery workers, employers and the public to be aware of the hazards they can encounter and take necessary steps to stay safe.

"Recovery and cleanup work should not put you in the hospital emergency room. OSHA is on the ground in affected areas providing compliance assistance," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "Storm recovery efforts expose workers to a wide range of hazards, which can be mitigated by safe work practices and personal protective equipment."

Tornado cleanup work can involve hazards related to restoring electricity, communications, and water and sewer services. Other hazards relate to demolition activities; cleaning up debris; tree trimming; structural, roadway and bridge repair; hazardous waste operations; and emergency response activities. OSHA maintains a comprehensive website on keeping disaster site workers safe during tornado and storm cleanup and recovery operations.

Only workers provided with the proper training,