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July 01, 2012

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Virginia Department of Health Offers Tips to Prevent Injuries and Food-borne Illness
(Richmond, Va.) People in the areas affected by the recent severe weather will continue to face a number of hazards associated with cleanup activities. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) offers the following safety tips:

Wear Protective Gear

  • For most cleanup work, wear hard hats, goggles, heavy work gloves and watertight boots with steel toe and insole (not just steel shank).
  • Wear earplugs or protective headphones to reduce risk from equipment noise.

Reduce Risk of Heat Exhaustion
While cleaning up after a severe storm during excessive heat, you are at risk for developing health problems. To reduce heat-related risks:

  • Drink a glass of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
  • Work during the cooler hours of the day.
  • Equipment such as chain saws may cause ringing in the ears and subsequent hearing damage.
  • Wear eye goggles while removing or cleaning up debris to prevent eye injuries.

Prevent Muscle and Bone Injury
Special attention is needed to avoid back injuries associated with manual lifting and handling of debris and building materials. To help prevent muscle and bone injury:

  • Use teams of two or more to move bulky objects.
  • Avoid lifting any material that w