Update: NIOSH Warns of Hazards of Flood Cleanup Work


DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 94-123
image of flood waters

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) warns flood workers that when the seemingly endless rain tapers off and the flood waters recede, they will continue to face a number of hazards associated with cleanup activities. “Unfortunately the danger of a flood does not end when the rains cease,” said NIOSH Director, Dr. Linda Rosenstock. “We must work together to prevent illnesses and injuries that can accompany cleanup efforts,” she stressed.

Workers and volunteers involved with flood cleanup should be aware of the potential dangers involved and the proper safety precautions. Because the level of experience varies among these workers, cleanup crews must work together and look out for one another to ensure safety. NIOSH urgently requests your assistance in disseminating the following warnings to all those involved in flood cleanup. The work-related hazards listed here are described in greater detail on the subsequent pages: Electrical Hazards, Carbon Monoxide, Musculoskeletal Hazards, Thermal Stresses, Heavy Equipment, Structural Instability, Hazardous Materials, Fire, Drowning, Confined Spaces, Power Line Hazards, Agricultural Hazards, Stress and Fatigue.

Page last reviewed: June 6, 2014