Category: Emergency Preparedness and Response

No one wants it to happen, but an emergency, natural or manmade, can strike at anytime, 24/7. What’s more, it need not be a major, nationally-televised incident, such as a hurricane, earthquake, or act of political terror. An event as common as a local building fire can present just as large a challenge to you. These resources will help you create a plan for handling such crises, whatever their scope, and to carry it out in a way that best protects your employees and your company.

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When Domestic Violence Enters the Workplace: A Clear and Present Danger

While coworkers can often be the perpetrators of workplace violence, employers also must be aware of external threats from domestic abusers. If an employee reports that he or she is experiencing abuse at home, awareness and sensitivity on the part of the employer goes a long way. It’s a situation all too familiar to Lynn […]


Planning Ahead: The EPA Has a Plan for Disaster Debris—But Is Your State on Board?

Floods get lots of splashy news coverage—but flood cleanup, which can drag on for months, is less immediately dramatic. Many regions have faced the issue of removing millions of cubic yards of debris—much of it demolition debris, with contaminated or potentially hazardous wastes mixed in—in a way that protects public health.


Dealing with Debris: Do You Want It Done Quickly, Cheaply, or Cleanly?

After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Louisiana Gulf coast, the state had to figure out what to do with more than 38 million cubic yards of debris—including a quarter of a million trashed refrigerators full of rotting food and environmentally toxic refrigerant. And that was just refrigerators; debris that must be disposed of in the wake […]


Testing the Waters: Evaluating the Environmental Impact of Disaster

Following the disastrous flooding in Texas that resulted from Hurricane Harvey, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent 192 people to the state to assist 500 employees of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) in assessing environmental impacts. Quips about “I’m from the government, I’m here to help” aside, what are the roles of […]


Worker Safety in Wildfire Regions of California

Cal/OSHA is advising employers that special precautions must be taken to protect workers from hazards from wildfire smoke. Smoke from wildfires contains chemicals, gases and fine particles that can harm health. The greatest hazard comes from breathing fine particles, which can reduce lung function, worsen asthma and other existing heart and lung conditions, and cause […]


Is Your Business Prepared for Wildfires?

California’s drought may be over, but the wildfire risk is far from past. As temperatures rose last week, fire danger rose as well. A fire that broke out in Sun Valley around 1:30 p.m. on Friday had burned three homes by Saturday morning and prompted an evacuation order for areas around Los Angeles. By the […]


New Software from NIOSH Focuses on Emergency Responder Health

With extensive recovery efforts under way across the country, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is offering a new software platform called ERHMS Info Manager®. Its purpose, according to NIOSH, is to track and monitor emergency response and recovery worker activities during all phases of response following a natural disaster or other […]