June 2020

Inside the June Issue

 

 

Protecting Worker Safety and Health Under the National Response Framework

During a disaster, protecting response and recovery workers is essential for assuring a successful response and recovery.
When large-scale disasters overwhelm State and local assets, the National Response Framework (NRF) Worker Safety and Health Support Annex can provide the technical assistance needed to help protect Federal, State, tribal, and local organizations’ response, and recovery workers.

Depending upon the scope, complexity, and hazards associated with the incident, these services can include:
• Identifying and assessing worker health and safety hazards present at the incident site and in the environment.
• Assessing the resources needed to protect workers and identifying the sources available to meet these needs.
• Providing technical expertise in industrial hygiene, occupational safety and health, structural collapse engineering, safety engineering, radiation safety, biological and chemical agent response, and occupational medicine.
• Managing the creation and implementation of a site-specific
health and safety plan (HASP).
• Monitoring and managing worker safety and health hazards
through on-site identification, evaluation, analysis, and mitigation, including personal exposure monitoring.
• Providing assistance with developing, implementing, and
monitoring the personal protective equipment (PPE) program,
including the selection, use, and decontamination of PPE.
• Coordinating the collection and management of exposure
and accident/injury data to identify trends and facilitate data
sharing.
• Coordinating and providing incident-specific response and
recovery worker training.
• Assisting with the development and distribution of educational
materials on preventing and mitigating hazards.

Coordinating Responder Health and Safety

In the event of a major disaster, only the health and wellbeing
of response and recovery workers can ensure that the victims
themselves are cared for properly. When State, tribal, and local
assets are overwhelmed and assistance is needed to protect employees during an emergency, FEMA can activate OSHA to coordinate employee safety and health. OSHA coordinates the
resources and technical assistance provided under the NRF
Worker Safety and Health Support Annex. Assistance can be
requested through FEMA at a Joint Field Office and at FEMA’s
National and Regional Response Coordination Centers. When
activated, OSHA will work within the incident command system to provide technical assistance to the site safety officer.

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