OSHA Fact Sheet Highlights Importance of PPE during Sandy Cleanup

Published December 5, 2012

OSHA issued a new fact sheet to help employers choose appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and training for workers involved in cleanup and recovery efforts following Hurricane Sandy. The fact sheet features OSHA’s Hurricane Sandy Cleanup PPE Matrix, which indicates the type of PPE necessary for the different kinds of conditions that workers can expect to encounter during hurricane cleanup: wet conditions, working near or over water, working at heights over six feet, and working near loud noise. According to OSHA, a basic safety ensemble for hurricane cleanup activities includes a hard hat, safety glasses, a reflective vest, gloves, and steel-toed work boots.

A separate section highlights respiratory protection for workers; OSHA reminds employers that each site must be assessed for potential respiratory contaminants. The agency also addresses the importance of proper sanitation and hygiene, including handwashing, to help minimize the spread of contaminants and disease.

Employers should ultimately use engineering controls to mitigate and prevent hazards where possible. According to OSHA, “While engineering controls are the preferred method for addressing hazards, there are many cases in which PPE may be the only practical control method. All personal protective equipment has limitations and is the control method of last resort.”

View the fact sheet. For more information, read OSHA’s press release.