With Hurricane Dorian closing in on the US coast and based on the number of utility vehicles I have seen heading south on I-75 to aid in recovery efforts, it is important to protect those individuals who are bravely taking on hurricane recovery efforts and exposing themselves to the unique and extensive set of risks those efforts encounter. Luckily OSHA and some other governmental agencies, EPA and FEMA in particular, have taken steps to help individuals involved in recovery efforts be aware of and deal with potential risks involved.
OSHA identifies best practices that can be followed while performing recovery efforts.
Best practices include:
- An evaluation of the worksite.
- Monitoring potential exposures. Think about gasses, dust and even noise.
- Control of hazards through elimination, engineering controls, work practice and PPE.
- OSHA also provides Guides when dealing with Common Hazards encountered in recovery efforts such as:
- Downed utilities including power lines
- Lockout/Tagout issues
- Unknown Chemicals
- Even animal encounters.
Recovery efforts are difficult enough, but recovery efforts can only be aided by taking some time to review and train on OSHA best practices.