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NIOSH - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

NIOSH Safety and Health Topic:

Emergency Response Resources

Disaster Site Management

Emergency Response Resources

hospital worker, firefighter, police officer, hazmat cleanup worker

Topic Index:

Related NIOSH Topic:

Emergency Preparedness for Business


Disaster Sites (General)

Protecting Emergency Responders, Volume 3:  Safety Management in Disaster and Terrorism Response
Background and recommendations for improving safety management at large-scale disaster sites.  Covers natural and manmade disasters, including terrorism. See Protecting Emergency Responders Volumes 1 & 2 for more information on terrorism response.

Suggested Guidance for Supervisors at Disaster Rescue Sites
Includes work plan essentials, site safety and team leader checklists, potential hazards and recommendations.

Fact Sheet for Workers in Secondary Response and Other Supporting Roles
FAQs about exposure to dusts and gases.

Suggested Respirator Cleaning and Sanitation Procedures
Guidance for selecting cleaning equipment and supplies, procedures for respirator maintenance.

Eye Safety

Eye Safety - Emergency Response & Disaster Recovery
Esta Pãgina en Español En Español
Overview of eye hazards and injuries, types of eye protection, safety for prescription lens wearers, first aid.


NIOSH Silica Topic Page
Includes NIOSH resources and publications on silica, other silica resources and links.

Construction Workers: It's Not JUST DUST!
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 97-101
Information about what silicosis is, its symptoms, how construction workers get exposed, activities in which silica dust may be present, and silicosis prevention.

Preventing Silicosis and Deaths in Construction Workers
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 96-112
Esta Pãgina en Español En Español
Case reports of construction workers who have died or are suffering from silicosis, examples of operations that used poor dust controls and good dust controls.

OSHA Silica Topic Page
External Link:


NIOSH Asbestos Topic Page
NIOSH publications on asbestos, other asbestos resources and links

Asbestos Bibliography (revised)—September, 1997
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 97-162
Compendium of NIOSH research and recommendations on asbestos.

OSHA  Asbestos Topic Page
External Link:

Carbon Monoxide

NIOSH Carbon Monoxide Hazards Topic Page
Provides a listing of CO-related NIOSH publications, as well as recommendations for employers and equipment users, tool rental companies, and tool manufacturers.

NIOSH Alert: Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning from Small Gasoline Powered Engines and Tools
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 96-118
Esta Pãgina en Español En Español
Guidance for prevention of carbon monoxide (CO) poisonings resulting from widespread use of small gasoline-powered engines and tools in enclosed or confined spaces.


NIOSH Traumatic Injury Topic Pages: Electrical Safety
Extensive list of NIOSH publications on electrical safety/electrocution.

NIOSH Alert: Request for Assistance in Preventing Fatalities of Workers Who Contact Electrical Energy
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 87-103
Includes recommendations that can be used to help save the lives of workers who contact electrical energy. Recent incidents have shown that electrocution victims can be revived if immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or defibrillation is provided.

NIOSH Alert: Preventing Electrocutions by Undetected Feedback Electrical Energy Present in Power Lines
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 88-104
Describes cases of workers who died as a result of feedback electrical energy. Evaluation of these cases identified three areas of concern: (1) training in proper electrical procedures, (2) verification that power lines are deenergized before work is performed on them, and (3) detection of feedback electrical energy.

NIOSH Alert: Preventing Electrocutions of Workers Using Portable Metal Ladders Near Overhead Power Lines
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 89-110
Esta Pãgina en Español En Español
Describes six deaths that occurred because portable aluminum ladders, which conduct electrical current, came in contact with energized overhead power lines. If nonconductive ladders had been used instead, or if safe working clearances had been maintained, these deaths might have been prevented.

NIOSH Alert: Preventing Electrocutions During Work with Scaffolds Near Overhead Power Lines
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 91-110
Describes 13 deaths that occurred when workers erected or moved scaffolds that came into contact with energized overhead power lines, or when they contacted overhead power lines while using conductive tools or materials from scaffolds. Includes recommendations for situations where scaffolds and conductive tools or materials are used near overhead power lines.

NIOSH Alert: Preventing Electrocutions of Crane Operators and Crew Members Working Near Overhead Power Lines
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 95-108
Esta Pãgina en Español En Español
Describes five cases (six electrocutions) that resulted from the hazards of operating cranes near overhead power lines and makes recommendations for preventing similar incidents.

NIOSH Workplace Solutions: Preventing Worker Deaths and Injuries from Contacting Overhead Power Lines with Metal Ladders
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 2007-155
Esta Pãgina en Español En Español
Workers risk electrocution when using metal ladders around energized, overhead power lines. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has developed recommendations to prevent injuries and deaths while working with metal ladders.


NIOSH Traumatic Injury Topic Pages: Falls
Extensive list of NIOSH publications on falls from elevations.

NIOSH Alert: Preventing Falls and Electrocutions During Tree Trimming
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 92-106
Esta Pãgina en Español En Español
Many tree trimmers and their employers may lack training and knowledge of OSHA standards and/or may be unaware of the risk posed by inadequate or improper safety procedures and equipment. This Alert describes eight incidents involving five electrocutions and three fatal falls of tree trimmers.

NIOSH Alert: Preventing Worker Injuries and Deaths Caused by Falls From Suspension Scaffolds
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 92-108
Fatal falls can occur as a result of defective scaffold equipment, improper installation or operation, improper training of workers, or a failure to use appropriate personal fall protection equipment. This Alert describes five incidents resulting in six deaths caused by falls from suspension scaffolds.

OSHA Fall Protection Topic Page
External Link:

Confined Spaces

NIOSH Alert: Request for Assistance in Preventing Occupational Fatalities in Confined Spaces
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 86-110
Describes hazards faced by workers and rescuers who enter confined spaces, including summary case reports of eight fatal incidents. In each case there was lack of recognition of the hazards; lack of testing, evaluation, and monitoring; and lack of planned rescue procedures. Includes recommendations for addressing these problems.

A Guide to Safety in...Confined Spaces
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 87-113
(Adobe Acrobat Icon PDFonly (22 pg. 328 KB))
Information on confined spaces and their hazards, and specific safe work practices for testing, monitoring, and ventilating the atmosphere; isolation of energy sources (lockout-tagout); respirators; standby/rescue; and addressing general physical hazards such as temperature extremes, engulfment hazards, slick surfaces, and noise. Checklist for confined space entry included.

Workers Deaths in Confined Spaces
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 94-103
Provides a summary of surveillance findings and the full text of investigative case reports from 423 incidents in which 480 workers died. These incidents and investigations occurred between December 1983 and September 1993.

OSHA Confined Spaces Topic Page
External Link:

Chemical Hazards/ Hazardous Waste

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards
Source of general industrial hygiene information on several hundred chemicals/classes for workers, employers, and occupational health professionals.

International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO)
Summarizes essential health and safety information on chemicals for their use at the "shop floor" level by workers and employers in factories, agriculture, construction and other work places.

NIOSH Chemical Safety Topic Page
Includes NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods(NMAM), information on Material Safety Data Sheets, more...

Occupational Health Guidelines for Chemical Hazards
Summarizes information on permissible exposure limits, chemical and physical properties, and health hazards.

NIOSH/OSHA/USCG/EPA: Occupational Safety and Health Guidance Manual for Hazardous Waste Site Activities
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 85-115
Presents an overview of all aspects of safety and health protection at hazardous waste sites.

Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (AEGLs)
EPA web site describes dangers from exposure to airborne chemicals and recommends guideline levels for short-term exposures to airborne hazardous substances.
External Link:

OSHA Hazardous Waste Topic Page
External Link:

Stuctural Hazards

NIOSH Alert: Preventing Injuries and Deaths of Fire Fighters due to Structural Collapse
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 99-146
Esta Pãgina en Español En Español
Includes 10 essential steps to minimize the risk of injury and death to fire fighters during structural fire fighting, OSHA and NFPA standards, case studies, and additional recommendations.

Personal Protective Equipment Guidelines for Structural Collapse Events, Rand Volume 4
External Link:
This monograph serves as a technical source for National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) incident commander guidelines for emergency response immediately following large structural collapse events. It characterizes response activities and expected hazards, and develops guidelines for selecting appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

NIOSH Alert: Preventing Injuries and Deaths of Fire Fighters due to Truss System Failures
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 2005-132
Esta Pãgina en Español En Español
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) requests assistance in preventing injuries and deaths of fire fighters due to roof and floor truss collapse during fire-fighting operations. Roof and floor truss system collapses in buildings that are on fire cannot be predicted and may occur without warning. NIOSH recommends that fire departments review their occupational safety programs and standard operating procedures to ensure they include safe work practices in and around structures that contain trusses. Building owners should follow proper building codes and consider posting building construction information outside a building to advise fire fighters of the conditions they may encounter.

Mechanical Hazards

NIOSH Alert: Preventing Injuries and Deaths from Skid Steer Loaders
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 98-117
Describes six deaths involving skid steer loaders and recommends methods for preventing similar incidents.

NIOSH Alert: Preventing Injuries and Deaths of Workers Who Operate or Work Near Forklifts
(DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 2001-109
Describes seven incidents resulting in the deaths of seven workers who were either operating or working near forklifts. In each incident, the deaths could have been prevented by using proper safety procedures and equipment and by following the provisions of the OSHA standards.


NIOSH Safety and Health Topic: Emergency Rescue and Response in Mining
Information on implementing realistic training simulations and improving the technology used for rescue, exploration, recovery, firefighting, and evacuation operations in mines.

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