Restoration work safety reminders

In the wake of Hurricane Fiona, many of Construction Safety Nova Scotia’s members are involved in restoration work across the province. Please review the following health and safety tips to ensure you are completing this important work safely and not causing long-term damage to your health.

• Conduct thorough hazard assessments on your work activities.
• Ensure frequent workplace inspections are completed as the work environment can change.
• Ensure employees and supervisors are appropriately trained to deal with the specific hazards associated with water damaged buildings.
• Be careful around water as it may be contaminated with water borne bacteria from standing water of sewer water.
• Mould is very common in water damaged properties. Use caution when handling materials containing mould. Even after water is no longer present. Pay attention to absorbent materials (cardboard, drywall, wood, insulation, ceiling tiles, carpets etc.)
• Be prepared with proper PPE, including long pants, sleeves, rubber boots and appropriate gloves and protective eyewear. Appropriate respiratory equipment may also be required.
• Be aware of possible structural damage. A home’s foundation could weaken due to flooding.
• Electrical hazards: With the potential of standing water in the property, ensure proper inspection of power tools and extension cords. If you identify damage to the property’s electrical system, contact an electrician.
• Asbestos containing materials may be present. Take consideration when working in older properties.
• Proper hygiene: practice good hygiene when working in a potentially contaminated work environment.
• Use proper lifting techniques and many of a property’s contents may need to be removed to repair the property.