Sunday, May 14, 2006

Safety Guidelines for Volunteers

Katrina Recovery Workers: Safety Gear is a Must - And Watch for Snakes
From FEMA Filed 5/12/06 GCN

BILOXI, Miss. – With the end of the school year approaching, hundreds of high school and college students are expected to help storm-damaged neighborhoods spring back to life. These volunteers are a great asset in the recovery efforts.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) safety officials remind everyone working around battered structures on overgrown sites to work smart and stay healthy, especially as the weather warms up.

“Inexperienced workers may not be aware of the serious trouble that threatens their feet, legs, arms, hands and heads on job sites, as well as potential hazards to their lungs and eyes when pulling walls apart,” said Jesse Munoz, acting director of the transitional recovery office for Hurricane Katrina. “We want them to be properly equipped and to work safely at all times.”
Snake strikes have been reported throughout the past month by workers at demolition and debris collection sites in the six southern-most counties of Mississippi. A strike is a hit on leather or protective fabric.

Safety officials suggest protective equipment from the ground up for people working around debris:

Sturdy work boots with sole protection against nails and glass;
Long pants to guard against cuts and varmints;
Leather work gloves to ward off cuts and bites and to minimize damage from smashing incidents;
N-95 face mask from a building supply store to protect lungs from fiberglass and other debilitating dust;
Safety goggles to keep particles and flying objects out of eyes;
Hard hat to guard against falling objects and sideways bumps from careless co-workers;
Be sure your tetanus shot is current;

and Insect repellant


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