Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Corporation: Safety Is Critical In Gustav Cleanup


Baton Rouge, LA (CompNewsNetwork) - In the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav, Louisiana Workers' Compensation Corporation (LWCC) is reminding employers to make sure that workers take every precaution when performing cleanup duties.

Hurricane damage can create many potentially fatal hazards. A few of the dangers include electrical hazards, falling branches, overexertion from lifting, falls from heights, and injuries from power tools such as chain saws. Both employees and employers need to exercise safety precautions in order to avoid injury.

“Completing projects timely in recovery operations is extremely important,” says Michael Page, LWCC director of safety and loss prevention. “What we all must understand is that project timelines will be significantly extended if an injury or accident occurs. Employers and employees must plan the work to be completed, identify the hazards that will cause an accident or injury, and perform the work in a way that minimizes those hazards. When lives are at risk, time-saving tactics and relaxing of rules and procedures do not pay off.”

Page says, “Tree removal or cleanup poses a real, life-threatening problem.  Since Gustav, Louisiana has already experienced at least one fatality from tree-cutting activities.  Proper training and protective equipment are critical when using chain saws in tree-cleanup activities.” In addition, Page warns that working from rooftops to remove debris is also dangerous. Employees should use manlifts or other work platforms to perform work at elevated heights where possible, he says.

Some general precautions to follow when cleaning up:

·        Take frequent breaks.

·        Drink plenty of water.

·        Avoid overexertion by asking for assistance or using mechanical means to lift/move items.

·        If a first-aid kit is not readily available, purchase one on the next supply run.

·        Use generators according to manufacturers' recommendations to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, fires and electrical shock.

·        Perform only those jobs within your capabilities. Contract professional services where needed.

As part of its commitment to helping businesses integrate safety management into their company culture, LWCC provides a variety of online articles and resources on this and other important workplace safety topics. For related links and more information, visit LWCC's Web site at www.lwcc.com.

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