OSHA’s Hurricane eMatrix

OSHA’s Hurricane eMatrix outlines the activities most commonly performed during hurricane response and recovery work and provides detailed information about the hazards associated with those activities.

The eMatrix is designed to help employers make decisions to protect workers and offers recommendations for personal protective equipment, safe work practices, and precautions for each activity.

Work conditions change drastically after hurricanes and other natural disasters. In the wake of a hurricane, response and recovery workers will face additional challenges, such as downed power lines, downed trees, and high volumes of construction debris, while performing an otherwise familiar task/operation.

This Matrix includes general recommendations as well as best practices for specific tasks and operations being conducted in a hurricane response and recovery zone. The recommendations and activity sheets cover anticipated hazards, suggested controls, and applicable personal protective equipment (PPE) for hurricane response and recovery workers.

To best use this Matrix, employers conducting response and recovery operations should review the general recommendations section and note the sections that are relevant to their workers. Employers should next review the list of specific activity sheets and select the sheets that apply to operations performed by their workers.

Employers need to evaluate the hazards involved in tasks and operations specific to their work sites in a hurricane-affected area and then identify the engineering controls, work practices, and PPE necessary to minimize exposure risk during the work.

Using the general information and the specific activity sheets in this Matrix, employers may create or update their job hazard analyses (JHAs), and select appropriate control measures, work practices, and personal protective equipment (PPE) for hurricane response and recovery specific to their work. Employers may also use this information to conduct worker safety briefings and seek worker input on other hazards they encounter during jobs in areas affected by the hurricanes.

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