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Personal Safety During Spill Response Cleanup
Posted on May 7, 2010 by JSledziona
When cleaning up a spill, many are concerned with the potential hazards they are preventing to the environment, but what about the hazards to personnel?
Keeping yourself safe when responding to a spill is crucial to the spill clean up process and employee health and safety. Of course the hazards that one might face during the spill cleanup process, vary greatly depending on what job is being performed. Slips, trips and falls are possible due to slick conditions, heat related injuries can occur depending on the environment and even drowning based on location, as those currently cleaning up in the Gulf may be likely to face. Workers involved in spill clean up operations are covered by OSHA's Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response standard (1910.120 and 1926.65).
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels was in Louisiana Monday and met with a group of experienced hazardous materials professionals to help lead an effort to ensure that oil spill cleanup workers receive necessary protections from the hazards of this work. OSHA has published a press release from this meeting, to read more please click here.
"Oil spill cleanup workers are on the front lines attacking this disaster," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "It is our top priority to ensure that this is done as effectively, efficiently and safely as possible."
OSHA is distributing guides for cleanup workers and developing those guides in Vietnamese and Spanish. OSHA also has established a website to provide hazard awareness material for all involved in the cleanup activities. The website will be updated with new information as the situation warrants.
OSHA has provided information on worker safety guidelines during the oil spill cleanup, please visit http://www.osha.gov/oilspills/index.html.
OSHA's role is to ensure that employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees, America's working men and women, by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, education and assistance.