Employment Law Update
October 9, 2015
As the Midlands recovers from the effects of widespread flooding, and as rain-swollen rivers reach the coastal portions of the South Carolina, Federal OSHA and SC OSHA have issued warnings about potential hazards encountered in connection with flooding and storm cleanup.
Per OSHA, “Only workers provided with the proper training, equipment and experience should conduct cleanup activities.”
OSHA suggests several protective measures, including these:
- Employing engineering or work practice controls to mitigate hazards.
- Using personal protective equipment.
- Assuming all power lines are live.
- Using portable generators, saws, ladders, vehicles and other equipment properly.
Also, SC OSHA has asked employers to remind workers to be extra vigilant about safety when traveling for work and when traveling to and from work, and to not remove or go around safety barriers. Reminding employees to heed safety warnings on roads is a protective measure. Currently 400 state-maintained roads and bridges are closed and portions of I-95 are closed.
Below are links to three resources that can help employers maintain safety compliance in connection with flooding and related cleanup:
- OSHA's flood response and recovery page
- The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences hurricane and flood response page
- The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health emergency response page
Let us know if you have questions about these issues.