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  • Writer's pictureJohn Larrimer

Are You A Disaster Relief Worker?

Heavy rains have fallen on the Midwest recently. Meteorologists have issued public safety warnings for flash floods and even tornadoes. With time the storms will pass and workers from around the Midwest will band together and begin the long process of recovery. In the midst of all this, there is an altruistic attitude in the air of working hard for the sake of others. While this is a good sentiment for recovery projects, it is important not to take it too far and work hard for the sake of others at the expense of your own health. Photo of a work injury claim form

“Recovery and cleanup work should not put you in the hospital emergency room. OSHA is on the ground in affected areas providing compliance assistance,” said the assistant secretary of labor for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. “Storm recovery efforts expose workers to a wide range of hazards, which can be mitigated by safe work practices and personal protective equipment.”

One of the most dangerous parts of disaster recovery work is restoring electrical equipment. Workers may be exposed to fatal electrocution hazards through exposed wires. Furthermore, residual water from the storm can act as a conductor and endanger workers. Those supervising relief efforts should make sure that all workers are wearing proper protective equipment while working around power lines and other exposed circuitry, such as insulating boots and rubber gloves.

Can I Get Workers Comp For An Injury In A Disaster Recovery Effort?

If you have been injured in the midst of a public recovery effort, obtaining compensation may be more complicated than a conventional workplace injury. Instead of seeking compensation from a private employer, an injured recovery worker is often seeking compensation from the government itself, which requires a different legal approach. As such, consult an experienced workers compensation lawyer to guide you through the process.

Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC—Columbus Workers Comp Attorneys

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