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Hurricane seasons brings broad-based risks for many Louisiana workers

Louisiana home dwellers immediately come to mind in virtually any discussion of hurricane risks and adverse outcomes in the state, of course.

Federal and state safety regulators want an equally strong focus placed on the perils that state workers in many spheres face when working during and after such storms, too. And they want every such employee maximally protected against harm.

Worker-focused concerns arise during every hurricane season, but they are arguably even more pronounced this year. A noted publication on environmental health points out that recently active Hurricane Delta followed two dozen other major storms that have already racked vulnerable regions of the United States. Louisiana has been hit especially hard thus far in 2020, and hurricane season is still far from over.

That reality has led to employer-targeted warnings from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The country’s preeminent workplace safety overseer has advised business principals spanning Louisiana to be acutely aware of storm hazards and doing whatever it takes to keep workers safe during cleanup operations. The huge amount of work that must be done in a hurricane’s wake to restore a sense of normalcy imposes outsized risks for workers across a wide sphere of occupations.

An OSHA principal duly stresses that, “Workers involved in storm cleanup can face a wide range of safety and health hazards.”

Those range from biological threats, dangerous chemicals and downed power lines to fallen trees, tainted waters, toxic fumes and myriad other dangers.

The Atlantic hurricane season commonly starts during early summer and runs through about the end of November.