To help to keep employers and employees safe and to help to educate them about the dangers that are associated with the cleanup work after Hurricane Sandy, officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a new fact sheet. This sheet focuses on the safeguards needed to protect workers against various dangers, including mold, when cleaning up after that devastating storm and those to come.
“Workers will be exposed to mold during hurricane response and cleanup activities. Remediation of mold-contaminated building materials and surfaces can and must be done safely, so that no worker is sickened or injured while performing this vital work,” said Robert Kulick with OSHA.
Our Charlotte workers’ compensation attorneys know that it’s critical that employers understand these risks. They need to know about the hazards that accompany mold as well as the need to have a mediation plan and effective work practices, controls and protective equipment to keep workers safe. Workers need to make sure that they’re getting the proper training to work safely in these kinds of conditions and to keep themselves safe when working around mold.
With the new OSHA fact sheet, there’s a whole lot of information, including details as to why mold is so dangerous. It also includes specific elements of a mold cleanup plan. Employers and employees are urged to review and share the following information before starting any kind of cleanup process. These are some reminders to help to protect everyone in these efforts.
Why is mold dangerous?
Mold is a fungi. It reproduces by forming spores which are released into the air. When they land on a moist surface, they start to grow. They can also penetrate porous materials and release chemicals. Most of them are harmless, but there are some that can cause infections and can produce allergic reactions. Mold remediation is oftentimes necessary to return working spaces to a safe condition and make them suitable for occupancy.
Engineering Control for Working Around Mold:
-Re-wetting materials with a mist of water to can help to suppress spores, debris and dust.
-Make sure that all natural or local exhaust it properly ventilated during the cleanup process.
-Be sure that all items that are going to be discarded are wrapped and sealed appropriated in plastic bags or sheets to help to reduce the spread of spores.
Employers are also required to make sure that all workers are provided with the proper safety equipment to complete the job. Equipment for cleanup efforts should include respirators (when needed), non-vented goggles as well as protective clothing and long gloves to protect workers from chemicals. Depending on the degree of damage done and the cleanup efforts needed, varying degrees of these controls will be needed. Be safe during storm cleanup efforts and take all of the proper safety precautions to protect workers.
If you or your loved one has been injured in a work accident, contact the Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-887-1965.
More Blog Entries:
Tips for Worker Safety When Using a Chain Saw This Winter, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, November 30, 2012
Factory Fire Shines Light on Unsafe and Unfair Work Conditions, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, November 28, 2012