Air Date: 11-30-2012| Episode: 265
This week on IAQ Radio we have a Super Storm Sandy update with an industry veteran and respected NYC area industrial hygienist Bernard Fontaine, Jr., CIH, CSP…
This week on IAQ Radio we have a Super Storm Sandy update with an industry veteran and respected NYC area industrial hygienist Bernard Fontaine, Jr., CIH, CSP. Mr. Fontaine has over 35 years professional and business experience in regulatory compliance, insurance, national defense, environmental services, and consulting. He specializes in cross-functional and cross-regional teams and he has developed and supported complex, multi-year consulting engagements. His leadership skills has driven cost-effective solutions for public and private sectors in areas of industrial hygiene, risk management, loss control and worker compensation claim, safety system management, occupational and public health, process and product safety throughout the supply chain, ergonomics, indoor air quality, emergency response and training for workers and their supervisors.
We will also welcome Glenn Fellman with a “What’s News” segment and have a few insurance related updates to pass along.
After the storm, first hand observations
On today’s episode of IAQradio Bernard Fontaine, Jr. a New Jersey based Certified Industrial Hygienist and Certified Safety Professional and Patti Harmon Restoration Industry Association’s Director of Communications provided their firsthand observations on the aftermath of Super-storm Sandy.
Bernard Fontaine’s comments:
•PPE, sanitation workers and first responders are properly protected.
•First things first: move mountains of sand to clear the streets, repair infrastructure, demolition, segregate the salvageable from the unsalvageable, discard the unsalvageable, debris removal, clean and sanitize, dry, verify materials are dry prior to repair and reconstruction.
•More noticeable donations were provided following 911, Super-storm Sandy more capitalistic motives.
•HAZMAT-Asbestos (ABMs) is a potential problem in older structures. Sheetrock and drywall may shed mica dust and silica dust during demolition. Thermostats contain mercury.
•Overwhelming needs. Need exceeds available resources. Everyone with a contracting license has been drawn into the remediation effort. Unqualified and inexperienced contracting firms are drawn into the remedial efforts. Property owners aren’t prequalifying contractors.
•No standardized operating procedures. “Monkey see, monkey do” people doing the same things and going through the motions and don’t necessarily understand what they are doing nor why?
•Store shelves are bare of needed supplies.
•Many businesses that were damaged and closed as the result of the storm will not reopen.
•OSHA assisting in an educational, guidance and consultative role
•Insufficient number of claims adjusters
Patti Harmon’s comments:
•Enormity of the task.
•How hard the work is.
•Touched by the tireless dedication of workers.
•“It’s been 4 weeks and still no electric power in some areas.”
•Curfews in seaside towns
•No apparent effort to sort and recycle debris.
•“At least it’s not summer adding the challenges of hot weather and high humidity”
•East Rockaway, NJ FEMA is going door to door trying to contact property owners.
•Many property owners seem paralyzed and unable to make important decisions.
•Older construction materials and methods sometimes fare better in catastrophes.
•www.restorationindustry.org website has important guidance information for consumers.
I opine that RIA needs to use PR to dominate the media on catastrophe response guidance, the message should be “we’ve done it before, we know what to do”. RIA’s common sense restoration approaches will make sense and resonate with the public.
Z-Man signing off