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Summer Safety Message

29 June 2011 12:15

As the summer holidays begin, and the good weather sets in, NI Water is issuing an important reminder to parents and young people about the dangers of playing near treatment works, reservoirs and construction sites.

Hugh Curley, Health & Safety Manager at NI Water, explains:

"Understandably, natural curiosity will draw some children to these sites as they seem like exciting places to explore. However, they are not playgrounds and fooling around at 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 our sites could hamper and delay rescue attempts, should such a need arise.

"Similarly, I am also asking parents to highlight the dangers of swimming in reservoirs. Calm water can look very inviting on a warm day, but there are many dangers associated with it, for example, low temperatures, underwater hazards and the potential for becoming trapped. The temperatures in these reservoirs are extremely low 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.

"I am also urging the local community to be vigilant as NI Water is experiencing a growing problem of people vandalising work at our sites. This damage can cause major delays in work schedules aimed at providing local communities with a vital service and valuable time and money is wasted repairing the damage."

NI Water has some simple steps on how to stay safe:

1. Don’t climb on barriers and fences - They are there to protect you from serious injury and accidents when NI Water construction work is going on.
2. Stay away from trenches and open manholes - They are dirty, deep and dangerous. They may also contain hazardous gases.
3. Be careful near roads - never run out from behind parked vans or lorries as you could be knocked down and injured.
4. Keep clear of equipment - You may see diggers, lorries, pipes and other equipment, but don’t be tempted - steer clear and don’t touch!
5. Obey ‘Danger’ signs - reservoirs and treatment works can be dangerous places, so stay well away and always obey the warning signs.

Hugh continued: "NI Water is spending millions of pounds repairing and replacing water pipes and updating treatment works in order to improve our water systems and ensure the water we provide is of the highest standard. This work may result in necessary construction sites for a period of time and we would ask parents and young people to continue to be vigilant at all times, so everyone can enjoy the Summer holidays safely."

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