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After adjusting to the initial shock and devastation of a tornado, clean-up seems like the obvious next step. But the nature of a crisis can make it easy to forget that safety always comes first. According to John Shutske, Agricultural Health and Safety Specialist with the University of Minnesota Extension Service, one of the most important safety aspects of clean-up work is dressing safely. When cleaning up tornado debris:

  • Wear heavy pants and a long sleeve shirt, or coveralls.
  • Use heavy work gloves or leather gloves.
  • Wear durable work boots with intact soles and steel toes if possible. DO NOT wear sneakers or open-toed shoes!
  • Some tools require the use of approved impact-resistant safety glasses. Some power tools may require additional protection.

In addition to dressing safely, remember to exercise caution when cleaning. Often, it is safer to call a professional rather than to risk injury moving heavy or hazardous debris by yourself. Tetanus booster shots are recommended every 10 years. During clean-up, if you receive a puncture wound, see your doctor to find out if a shot is needed.

Source: John Shutske, University of Minnesota Extension Service


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