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Flooding, Storm Cleanup, and OSHA

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.

OSHA’s full warning.

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.

SC OSHA’s warning.

Below are links to three resources that can help employers maintain safety compliance in connection with flooding and related cleanup:

Let us know if you have questions about these issues.

David Dubberly is a Certified Specialist in Employment and Labor Law with Nexsen Pruet. E-mail him at ddubberly@nexsenpruet.com or follow him on Twitter @DavidDubberly.

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