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EMERGENCY RESPONSE RESOURCES

hospital worker, firefighter, police officer, hazmat cleanup worker

 

Disaster Site Management

Disaster site management can be made easier by being prepared. This page provides links to work plan essentials and site safety and team leader checklists that can help you get prepared for such an event. The page also includes links to information on potential hazards (e.g. silica, asbestos, carbon monoxide, electrocution, falls, confined spaces, and chemical, structural, and mechanical hazards) and recommendations to reference in the event of a disaster.

Safety Management

Protecting Emergency Responders Safety Management in Disaster and Terrorism Response
NIOSH and RAND produced four reports in a series. The first three reports provide recommendations and the need for research, training and other strategic approaches to help protect emergency responders in terrorist attacks. The fourth report is a technical source for incident commander guidelines for emergency response immediately following large structural collapse events. Each individual report can be accessed using the following links:

Suggested Guidance for Supervisors at Disaster Rescue Sites
Includes work plan essentials, site safety and team leader checklists, potential hazards and recommendations.

Personal Protective Equipment

Emergency Response Personal Protective Equipment Page
Personal protective equipment is very important for any emergency responder. There are five main types of PPE that are covered on this page: respirators and protective clothing (selection, proper use, etc.), skin exposures and eye and hearing protection.

Silica

Silicosis is a disabling, nonreversible and sometimes fatal lung disease caused by overexposure to respirable crystalline silica. Silica exposure remains a serious threat to nearly two million US workers. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that each year more than 250 die from silicosis and hundreds more are disabled. There is no cure for the disease, but it is 100 percent preventable if employers, workers, and health professionals work together to reduce exposures

NIOSH Silica Topic Page
Includes NIOSH resources and publications on silica, other silica resources and links.

OSHA Silica Topic Page
Addresses such questions as: What OSHA standards apply? What information is available for the construction industry? What information is available about silica and its health effects? How are silica exposures evaluated in the workplace? What are some examples of possible solutions for workplace hazards? and What additional information is available?

Asbestos

Asbestos is well recognized as a health hazard and is highly regulated. An estimated 1.3 million employees in the construction and general industry face significant asbestos exposure on the job. Heaviest exposures occur in the construction industry, particularly during the removal of asbestos during renovation or demolition. Employees are also likely to be exposed during the manufacture of asbestos products (such as textiles, friction products, insulation, and other building materials) and during automotive brake and clutch repair work.

NIOSH Asbestos Topic Page
NIOSH publications on asbestos, other asbestos resources and links

OSHA Asbestos Topic Page
Addresses such questions as: What OSHA standards apply? What information is available for the construction industry? What information is available about silica and its health effects? How are silica exposures evaluated in the workplace? What are some examples of possible solutions for workplace hazards? and What additional information is available?

Carbon Monoxide

NIOSH Safety and Health Topic: Carbon Monoxide Hazards from Small Gasoline Powered Engines
Small gasoline-powered engines, such as generators, can pose a serious health hazard following natural disasters. They produce high concentrations of CO--a poisonous gas that can cause illness, permanent neurological damage, and death. This web page provides recommendations for employers, equipment users, tool rental agencies, and tool manufacturers for preventing CO poisoning.

CDC Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Topic Page
This web page contains reports detailing the problems associated with carbon monoxide from portable generators, motorboats, fires, and other emission sources.

Electrocution

Working with electricity can be dangerous. Engineers, electricians, and other professionals work with electricity directly, including working on overhead lines, cable harnesses, and circuit assemblies.

NIOSH Traumatic Injury Topic Pages: Electrical Safety
Extensive list of NIOSH publications on electrical safety/electrocution.

NIOSH Alert: Request for Assistance in Preventing Fatalities of Workers Who Contact Electrical Energy
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 87-103
Includes recommendations that can be used to help save the lives of workers who contact electrical energy. Recent incidents have shown that electrocution victims can be revived if immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or defibrillation is provided.

OSHA Electrical Topic Page
Addresses such questions as: What OSHA standards apply? What information is available for the construction industry? What information is available about silica and its health effects? How are silica exposures evaluated in the workplace? What are some examples of possible solutions for workplace hazards? and What additional information is available?

Falls

Falls from ladders and roofs still account for the majority of falls. Identifying fall hazards and deciding how best to protect workers is the first step in reducing or eliminating fall hazards. Occupational fatalities caused by falls remain a serious public health problem.

NIOSH Traumatic Injury Topic Pages: Falls
Extensive list of NIOSH publications on falls from elevations.

OSHA Fall Protection Topic Page
Addresses such questions as: What OSHA standards apply? What information is available for the construction industry? What are some examples of possible solutions for workplace hazards? and What additional information is available?

Confined Spaces

NIOSH Confined Spaces Topic Page
"Confined Space" refers to a space which by design has limited openings for entry and exit, unfavorable natural ventilation which could contain or produce dangerous air contaminants, and which is not intended for continuous employee occupancy.

NIOSH Interim Guidance: Working Safely in Confined Spaces
This document was originally developed for Hurricane Katrina but the information is applicable for hurricane workers who are working in confined spaces generally. This document provides NIOSH interim guidelines regarding work in confined spaces in response to a hurricane.

OSHA Confined Spaces Topic Page
Addresses such questions as: What OSHA standards apply? What information is available for the construction industry? What are some examples of possible solutions for workplace hazards? and What additional information is available?

Chemical Hazards

NIOSH Emergency Response Chemical Hazards Page
Chemical agent information is needed for workers to appropriately plan for risks resulting from possible chemical incidents. Several organizations have developed information databases, including short-term and long-term criteria, each with specific purposes, exposure scenarios, and severity of adverse health effects considered in their development.

Structural Hazards

Rescue Workers and Emergency Responders may already have experience with entering collapsed structures resulting from (1) construction catastrophes, (2) earthquakes, (3) fire and (4) weather related structural failures. Weather related structural failures typically result from rain/snow accumulations on roofs, hurricanes, tornadoes, landslides and even avalanches.

Personal Protective Equipment Guidelines for Structural Collapse Events, Rand Volume 4
This monograph serves as a technical source for National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) incident commander guidelines for emergency response immediately following large structural collapse events. It characterizes response activities and expected hazards, and develops guidelines for selecting appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

NIOSH Alert: Preventing Injuries and Deaths of Fire Fighters due to Truss System Failures
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 2005-132
En Español
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) requests assistance in preventing injuries and deaths of fire fighters due to roof and floor truss collapse during fire-fighting operations. Roof and floor truss system collapses in buildings that are on fire cannot be predicted and may occur without warning. NIOSH recommends that fire departments review their occupational safety programs and standard operating procedures to ensure they include safe work practices in and around structures that contain trusses. Building owners should follow proper building codes and consider posting building construction information outside a building to advise fire fighters of the conditions they may encounter.

NIOSH Alert: Preventing Injuries and Deaths of Fire Fighters due to Structural Collapse
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 99-146
En Español
Includes 10 essential steps to minimize the risk of injury and death to fire fighters during structural fire fighting, OSHA and NFPA standards, case studies, and additional recommendations.

OSHA Structural Collapse Topic Page
Defines structural collapse, what safety resources are available, and hazards that can be encountered in a structural collapse.

Identifying and Handling Human Remains

Health Concerns Associated with Disaster Victim Identification after a Tsunami
MMWR Vol 54, No 14;349 04/15/2005
Gives techniques for victim identification in a disaster area, and provides information on health concerns and the establishment of temporary morgues.

Interim Health Recommendations for Workers who Handle Human Remains
Provides recommendations for individuals who must have direct contact with human remains.

Health Care Workers

NIOSH Health Care Workers Topic Page
Health care workers face a wide range of hazards on the job, including needle stick injuries, back injuries, latex allergy, violence, and stress.

NIOSH Bloodborne Infectious Diseases HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B Virus, and Hepatitis C Virus Topic Page
Exposures to blood and other body fluids occur across a wide variety of occupations. Health care workers, emergency response and public safety personnel, and other workers can be exposed to blood through needle stick and other sharps injuries, mucous membrane and skin exposures.

Musculoskeletal Hazards

NIOSH Ergonomics and Musculoskeletal Disorders Topic Page
A resource of practical ways to reduce ergonomics hazards to workers.

Heat Stress

NIOSH Heat Stress Topic Page
Workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot environments may be at risk of heat stress. This topic page explains the types of heat stress and the effects each has on workers and provides recommendations for employers and for workers on how to prevent heat stress.

Motor Vehicles and Machine Safety

NIOSH Alert: Preventing Injuries and Deaths from Skid Steer Loaders
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 98-117
Describes six deaths involving skid steer loaders and recommends methods for preventing similar incidents.

NIOSH Alert: Preventing Injuries and Deaths of Workers Who Operate or Work Near Forklifts
(DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 2001-109
Describes seven incidents resulting in the deaths of seven workers who were either operating or working near forklifts. In each incident, the deaths could have been prevented by using proper safety procedures and equipment and by following the provisions of the OSHA standards.

NIOSH Motor Vehicles Topic Page
Motor vehicle-related highway crashes are consistently the leading cause of work-related fatalities.

NIOSH Machine Safety Topic Page
Machinery-related hazards are present in virtually every industry. Workers are exposed to these hazards daily in construction, farming, and manufacturing.

Mining

NIOSH Mining Safety and Health Topic - Emergency management
Information on implementing realistic training simulations and improving the technology used for rescue, exploration, recovery, firefighting, and evacuation operations in mines.

 
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