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OSHA resumes enforcement in Irma-affected areas

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The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has resumed normal enforcement throughout Florida and Georgia after ceasing most programmed enforcement actions following Hurricane Irma.

At least 85 people died in the two states after Irma, the first major hurricane to hit Florida since Hurricane Wilma in 2005, struck in September as a Category 4.

OSHA provided compliance assistance and outreach to employers and workers following the storm and retained the right to inspect cases involving fatalities, catastrophic accidents, employee complaints and employers who repeatedly exposed employees to serious hazards during cleanup and recovery operations, the agency said Tuesday in a statement.

“Although we will resume regular enforcement operations in most of the impacted areas, we will continue to assist employers and workers in those isolated areas most heavily impacted by Hurricane Irma,” OSHA Region 4 Administrator Kurt Petermeyer, in Atlanta, said in the statement. “We will be monitoring those areas closely as they transition from cleanup and recovery to normal operations.”