Activity Description

  • This activity sheet applies to workers from most trades in the construction industry who will participate in hurricane response and recovery jobs. Some of the hazards outlined in this activity sheet apply more directly to one trade than another; however, most of the listed hazards apply to common construction situations that arise during assessment, cleanup, and repair of structures – regardless of the trade.
  • For some operations or situations (e.g., entry into confined spaces, heavy equipment use) other activity sheets also apply
  • Wind and water caused substantial damage to residential, public, and commercial buildings and related structures in the paths of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (2005). Each structure must be inspected and then, if salvageable, cleaned and repaired. Although certain cleaning tasks are more prevalent after severe-weather disasters, similar assessment and repair activities are required after any disaster that results in structural damage to buildings.
  • Cleanup after floods involves substantial handling of wet debris which will be heavier than if dry. Wet materials are also more subject to heavy mold growth than the same materials when dry. Additionally, materials might be contaminated with any hazardous substances that contaminated floodwaters.
  • Response and recovery workers conducting this operation may be employed by Federal, State, local, and private employers.

General Recommendations

Key Engineering Controls and Work Practices.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The general PPE is recommended for all response/recovery tasks/operations; only the additional PPE that may be needed for a specific hazard is noted below.

General PPE includes:

  • Hard hat for overhead impact or electrical hazards
  • Eye protection with side shields
  • Gloves chosen for job hazards expected (e.g., heavy-duty leather work gloves for handling debris with sharp edges and/or chemical protective gloves appropriate for chemicals potentially contacted)
  • ANSI-approved protective footwear
  • Respiratory protection as necessary—N, R, or P95 filtering facepieces may be used for nuisance dusts (e.g., dried mud, dirt, and silt) and mold (except mold remediation). Filters with a charcoal layer may be used for odors

Source: Cleaning & Reconstruction