OSHA Offers Safety Guidance to Flood Recovery Workers in Florida

OSHA Offers Safety Guidance to Flood Recovery Workers in Florida

Flood recovery presents hazards such as power loss, water accumulation and saturation of building materials and electrical components.

The U.S. Department of Labor and OSHA have issued a strong reminder to emergency responders, recovery workers and residents in flood-affected areas of Florida to prioritize safety amid cleanup efforts following intense rainfall. OSHA emphasizes the importance of training, following safe work practices and using PPE during debris removal to minimize these risks.

“The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reminds everyone that recovery work must never come at the expense of someone’s safety and well-being,” OSHA Southeast Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer in Atlanta said in a statement. “Flood recovery work presents numerous safety and health hazards — amid power loss, and water accumulation and saturation of building materials and electrical components — all of which can be minimized by being knowledgeable, following safe work practices and using personal protective equipment for debris removal.”

OSHA specifically highlights the danger posed by standing water, particularly in areas where there may be hidden openings or depressions that could lead to serious injury or drowning. Recovery tasks such as restoring utilities, removing floodwater, performing demolition, clearing debris and handling hazardous waste expose workers to risks such as extreme heat, contaminated materials, carbon monoxide, electrocution, and fall hazards.

To mitigate these risks, OSHA recommends evaluating work areas for potential hazards, ensuring workers are adequately trained, and verifying that hazards are effectively controlled before commencing any recovery work. The agency's online resources provide guidance on keeping workers safe during flood cleanup, including quick cards and fact sheets.

More information on OSHA’s flood preparedness and response guidance, visit the webpage.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

Product Showcase

  • Matrix's OmniPro Vision AI Collision Avoidance System

    OmniPro Vision AI is a state-of-the-art collision avoidance system that features NIOSH award-winning Visual Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. This highly accurate, powerful system identifies and alerts on pedestrians, vehicles and specified objects, ensuring safer facilities, mining operations and industrial sites. With its web-based cloud application, OmniPro Vision AI also logs and analyzes a wide range of data related to zone breach notifications. Operating without needing personal wearable devices or tags, OmniPro has visual and audible zone breach alerts for both operators and pedestrians. Read More

  • Magid® D-ROC® GPD412 21G Ultra-Thin Polyurethane Palm Coated Work Gloves

    Magid’s 21G line is more than just a 21-gauge glove, it’s a revolutionary knitting technology paired with an advanced selection of innovative fibers to create the ultimate in lightweight cut protection. The latest offering in our 21G line provides ANSI A4 cut resistance with unparalleled dexterity and extreme comfort that no other 21-gauge glove on the market can offer! Read More

  • Preventative Heat Safety

    Dehydration and heat exposure impair physical and cognitive performance. Proper hydration boosts heat stress resilience, but hydration needs are highly individualized and hard to predict across a workforce. Connected Hydration® empowers industrial athletes to stay safe through behavioral interventions, informed by sports science, and equips safety teams with critical insights to anticipate high-risk situations and adapt to evolving environmental factors. Curious about applying the latest in sports science based hydration strategies for industrial athletes? Stop by booth #1112 at AIHA or schedule a free demo today at https://epcr.cc/demo. Read More


Artificial Intelligence