Now that the summer holidays are underway, NI Water is taking the opportunity to remind parents about the dangers of children playing at or near sites like treatment works, reservoirs and construction sites.
Michael Bergin, Health and Safety Manager at NI Water, explains:
“Understandably, natural curiosity will draw children and young people to many of our sites. However, they are not playgrounds, and fooling around at or near them can have dangerous consequences.
“I would urge all parents to explain to their children the dangers of playing in or around these areas. The remoteness of many of our sites could hamper and delay rescue attempts, should such a need arise.
“I would also ask the local community to be vigilant against criminal damage and vandalism at NI Water sites. This damage can result in major delays to work schedules aimed at providing local communities with a vital service, and valuable time and money is wasted repairing the damage. Plus, is a ‘bit of fun’ really worth a criminal record when you are caught?
“Similarly, we would encourage parents to highlight the dangers of reservoirs. Calm water can look very inviting, especially during warm weather, but there are many dangers associated with it, like low temperatures, deep water, and the potential for becoming trapped. The temperatures in reservoirs are extremely low even on warm days and could cause the onset of hypothermia at a very early stage, making it very easy for even the strongest of swimmers to get into trouble.
‘‘In relation to this, we are very pleased to be working with the Quarry Products Association NI again this year to highlight the dangers of open water bodies, especially reservoirs and quarries. Cooling down and having some fun isn’t worth a life.
‘‘We want everyone to enjoy themselves this summer, hopefully in warm weather. However, it’s important that everyone does so safely, without causing danger or damage to themselves, other people, or property of others.’’
NI Water has some simple steps on how to stay safe:
- Don’t climb on barriers and fences – They are there to protect you from serious injury and accidents when NI Water construction work is underway.
- Stay away from trenches and open manholes – They are dirty, deep and dangerous. They may also contain hazardous gases.
- Be careful near roads – never run out from behind parked vans or lorries as you could be knocked down and injured.
- Keep clear of equipment – You may see machinery, pipes and other equipment, but don’t be tempted – steer clear and don’t touch!
- Obey ‘Danger’ signs – reservoirs and treatment works can be highly dangerous places, so stay well away and always obey the warning signs.