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Play Safe, Stay Safe this Christmas

16 December 2014 12:26

With the Christmas holidays upon us and many people using new gifts outside, NI Water is reminding parents and young people about the dangers of playing near our 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 towards our sites.  However, these are not playgrounds and fooling around at or near them can have very serious 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.  

“Similarly, we would also encourage parents to highlight the dangers of reservoirs.  Reservoir water can be very cold even in the summer, so imagine how cold it will be at this time of year.  Also, if temperatures should drop dramatically and the water freezes over, people can often be tempted to walk on the frozen surface – this too is incredibly dangerous.  

“I am also asking the local community to be vigilant against vandalism at NI Water 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.

‘‘As the cold, dark winter nights continue, this advice can be even more useful.  No-one wants to be injured or worse at Christmas; what seems like harmless fun could very easily end in disaster or tragedy – play safe and stay safe this Christmas and new year.’’

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 very dangerous places, so stay well away and always obey the warning signs.

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