Labor Commissioner John H. Albin announced today that the Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) is offering free safety and health consultations to businesses in flood-impacted areas. Trained NDOL consultants are available to assist with mold remediation plans, provide safety and health assessments, identify electrical hazards, and perform overall risk assessment. The free consultations are available through the On-Site Safety and Health Consultation program.
“Department of Labor safety and health consultants routinely conduct scheduled visits to help businesses assess and mitigate potential hazards, but flooding can bring up safety and health issues that some businesses may not have encountered in the past,” said Commissioner Albin. “Any business owner dealing with a known hazard or who wants to learn more about potential problem areas due to flooding is encouraged to contact us to schedule a consultation.”
In addition to mold, electrical hazards, and other possible flood-related dangers, businesses should be aware of the potential for harmful pathogens from sediment left behind by flood waters. It is recommended that individuals involved in clean-up efforts get a tetanus shot if they haven’t had one recently. Elevator safety can also be an issue due to flooding, and NDOL’s elevator inspection consultants are available to make free referrals to elevator service companies to ensure water is safely removed.
The On-Site Safety and Health Consultation program is not an enforcement program, nor will the NDOL issue any fines or penalties. The program’s purpose is to help businesses provide the best environment possible for employees and identify potential hazards before they become dangerous and expensive problems. Consultations are available to businesses with less than 250 employees on-site and 500 nationwide. The program is funded primarily with federal dollars, but operated by the Nebraska Department of Labor. Consultants provide written reports summarizing findings, suggest general approaches or options for solving safety and health problems, and identify kinds of help available to the employer if further assistance is required.
The On-Site Safety and Health Consultation program offers the following services at no cost to employers:
On-site Safety and Health Consultation: 402-471-4717
Elevator Consultation: 402-595-3184
Occupational Safety & Health Administration Fact Sheet on Natural Disaster Recovery: Cleanup Hazard
OSHA Flood Response/Recovery Tips
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Reentering Your Flooded Home