Play Safe, Stay Safe This Half Term

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The half-term holidays are nearing, and many young people will be taking time to enjoy the fun and the Hallowe’en celebrations outdoors.

With that in mind, NI Water would like to take this opportunity of reminding parents and young people about the dangers of playing near 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.

Bronagh (l) and Eimear from Holywood encouraging everyone to play safe and stay safe around NI Water sites this summer holiday period.

“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 and playing near them, not just in the autumn but at any time of the year.  Reservoir water is bitterly cold even in the warmest summer weather, so imagine what they are like in the autumn and winter as temperatures drop.

“I would also ask the local community to be vigilant against vandalism at NI Water sites this holiday period.  Damage and vandalism can cause major delays in work schedules which are aimed at providing local communities with a vital service and valuable time and money is wasted repairing the damage.

‘‘As the nights get longer, colder and darker, and as we enter a week of school holidays, this advice can be even more useful.  With Hallowe’en in mind, it can be a cruel trick and it’s certainly no treat to be involved in an accident at an NI Water site – don’t take the risk.’’

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.