Destruction from Hurricane Michael

The U.S. Department of Labor has a number of resources available to help employers assist employees affected by Hurricane Michael, according to an article on the department’s website. For instance, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is coordinated with other federal agencies on the release of compliance guidance for employee benefit plans, and plan participants and beneficiaries.

Other areas of assistance include:

• The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has temporarily suspended some federal contractor requirements, allowing businesses involved in hurricane relief the ability to prioritize recovery efforts.

• The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) will be prioritizing all calls in the affected areas to continue to provide uninterrupted service to workers and employers.

• The Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) issued a special enforcement advisory that would temporarily ease reporting and other regulatory burdens on labor organizations, labor relations consultants, and employers affected by Hurricane Michael.

• The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) programmed enforcement actions will cease in the affected areas and compliance assistance will be available during the recovery effort. However, OSHA will continue to respond to fatal workplace and life-altering injuries.

OSHA also offers a fact sheet with information of keeping workers safe during disaster cleanup and recovery. The sheet includes guidance on dealing with contaminated flood waters, downed power lines, tree trimming and debris removal.

Employers or employees seeking information, assistance or advice — or those needing to report an emergency or file a complaint — can call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).