KANSAS CITY, MO – In the midst of heavy rain and extensive floods in southwestern Missouri, the United States The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration advises employees and the general public to prevent potential dangers and learn how to defend themselves as clean-up efforts continue. Clean-up work may include restoring power, communications, water, and sewage services; finishing demolition; accessing flooded areas and clearing floodwater from buildings; removing the debris; trimming trees; fixing structures, roadways, and bridges; using cranes, aerial lifts, and other heavy machinery; responding to incidents and working among hazardous waste, and maintaining dams and levees.
These behaviors pose potential hazards, including the following,
- Illness caused by polluted water or food.
- There is a risk of overexposure or heat stress.
- Dangers of electrocution from downed electrical wires.
- The use of portable generators is concerned with carbon monoxide and electrical risks.
- Fall and hit-by risks are inherent in tree-trimming or operating at heights.
- Being trapped in unsafe excavations or enclosed areas.
- Burns, lacerations, and musculoskeletal fractures are all possible.
- When employed, being hit by cars or heavy machinery.
- During clean-up, there is a risk of drowning due to waves of flowing water.