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Am J Ind Med. 2018 May;61(5):361-371. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22822. Epub 2018 Mar 8.

Trees down, hazards abound: Observations and lessons from Hurricane Sandy.

Author information

1
Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations, Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
2
Department of Epidemiology, Rutgers School of Public Health, Piscataway, New Jersey.
3
Occupational Health Surveillance Unit, New Jersey Department of Health, Trenton, New Jersey.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Given predictions that climate change will lead to an increase in severe storms, it is important to more fully understand the risks experienced by workers charged with the cleanup and removal of storm damaged trees. These hazards have received little attention in the occupational safety and health literature.

METHODS:

This paper is based on semi-structured interviews with 23 stakeholders involved in the Hurricane Sandy cleanup effort.

RESULTS:

Interview participants identified at risk sectors, gaps in training and preparedness, and raised particular concerns about storm downed trees, electrical hazards, and fatigue and suggested steps to reduce these hazards.

CONCLUSIONS:

Stakeholders' observations about storm response suggest directions for improving the health and safety of this critical workforce.

KEYWORDS:

storm clean-up hazards; tree-work injury prevention

PMID:
29516531
DOI:
10.1002/ajim.22822

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