TOSHA Urges Safety First in Tornado Clean-up

Friday, April 17, 2009 | 01:12 pm
John Houghton and Donnie Thompson, Occupational Safety Specialists with TOSHA offer a helping hand to a local homeowner
John Houghton and Donnie Thompson, Occupational Safety Specialists with TOSHA offer a helping hand to a local homeowner
John Pietuszka, Safety Compliance Manager for TOSHA offers information on chain saw safety to a worker cleaning up the debris from the trees off Haynes Street
John Pietuszka, Safety Compliance Manager for TOSHA offers information on chain saw safety to a worker cleaning up the debris from the trees off Haynes Street

Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Aid in Relief Efforts

NASHVILLE — Representatives of the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA) worked with clean-up crews, contractors and homeowners in Murfreesboro this week to urge job safety during the recovery process from tornadoes that struck on April 10. TOSHA staff traveled to Rutherford County to provide assistance and distribute safety and health guidelines covering such topics as chain saw safety, proper use of portable generators, fall protection, work zone safety, electrical hazards and carbon monoxide poisoning.
 
“It’s the role of TOSHA to try and prevent additional injuries or illnesses during the massive cleanup process,” said Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner James Neeley. “They increase awareness of the potential for injuries by reminding people to take necessary precautions in cleaning up after a disaster and advise residents and workers on any safety or health issues that might arise.”
 
TOSHA had 19 staff members with expertise in the safety and industrial hygiene fields participate in the outreach. Among their efforts they provided information sheets to local building supply stores and rental centers and discussed hazards that can occur during clean-up with homeowners and workers.
 
"The emergency department has seen several injuries related to tornado damage clean-up," said Erin Yeldell, public relations coordinator for Middle Tennessee Medical Center. "The most common have been people stepping on nails, falling from unsecured ladders and injuries from tearing down walls and siding."
 
If anyone has questions regarding safety and health please contact the TOSHA division at 1-800-325-9901.