With summer holidays just within reach, NI Water is reminding parents and young people about the dangers of playing near treatment works, reservoirs, construction sites and tunnels.
Cathy Uprichard, Safety, Health, and Environment Manager at NI Water, explains:
“Understandably, natural curiosity will draw children and young people towards some of our sites. However, these are not playgrounds and fooling around at or near them can have very serious consequences.
“Over the last few months, we have seen some extremely dangerous behaviour and we are appealing to everyone to please stop and remember you are on a working site with machinery, heavy flowing water and metal lids.
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon endorses the message: “I would urge all parents to explain to their children the dangers of playing in or around these areas. All locations which involve water are dangerous and children and their parents should be aware of the risks. Young people are advised to pay heed to all the safety advice if near these locations.”
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 going on.
- 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 diggers, lorries, pipes and other equipment, but don’t be tempted – steer clear and don’t touch!
- Obey ‘Danger’ signs – reservoirs and treatment works can be very dangerous places, so stay well away and always obey the warning signs.
Cathy concludes, “I am also asking the local community to be vigilant against vandalism at NI Water sites this period. 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 such damage.