Charleston, SC, October 6th, 2015
With up to two feet of rain in some parts of South Carolina, many businesses across the region have been severely damaged by floodwaters and due to leaking roofs. As the rains subside and floodwaters recede, business owners and employees are beginning to assess the damages and take steps to make repairs and reopen for business.
Employers also need to take precautions to prevent exposing workers to potential hazards that may now exist in their businesses. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.
Businesses damaged by floodwaters may now be contaminated with animal or human sewage. This could mean that harmful bacteria, such as E. coli and others, may now be present. Floodwaters may also contain chemicals that could also pose an exposure risk to workers.
Water-damaged buildings can also quickly become a breeding ground for mold. Most building materials, furnishings and even many belongings can support its growth when moisture is present. Exposure to elevated levels of mold can cause allergies, trigger asthma attacks in some people and even cause infections in those with a weakened or suppressed immune system.
Another area of concern for businesses in older buildings is the potential presence of lead and asbestos. Lead-based paints and asbestos-containing materials were widely used in the past. If these materials are disturbed during cleanup, demolition or repair activities they can be released into the air creating an immediate exposure risk.
“Business owners and managers with damaged buildings caused by the historic floods are faced with a number of challenges as they work to reopen, but it’s critical they understand potential health and safety risks their employees may now face,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “At EMSL, we offer rapid testing services for mold, bacteria, lead, asbestos and a wide range of other contaminants associated with flood and water damage. Our service center in Charleston and three laboratories in North Carolina are already helping flood damage victims identify potential exposure risks to protect workers and all building occupants.”
EMSL Analytical provides all of the sampling supplies necessary and even offers easy-to-use test kits to identify a wide range of potential contaminants. To learn more about EMSL’s indoor environmental test kits, please visit www.EMSLTestKits.com
To learn more about water damage, mold and indoor air quality testing or other occupational, environmental, health and safety issues, please visit www.EMSL.com
or email info@EMSL.com
. To contact the Charleston, South Carolina service center, please call (888) 958-8170.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.