NI Water safety reminder after site vandalism spate

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NI Water has issued a timely reminder to parents and young people about the dangers of playing near treatment works, reservoirs and construction sites.

Speaking as warm temperatures continue, Michael Bergin, health and safety manager, NI Water, said: “Understandably, natural curiosity will draw children to these sites.

“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, we would also encourage parents to highlight the dangers of reservoirs. Calm water can look very inviting, but there are many dangers associated with it, like low temperatures and the potential for becoming trapped.

“The temperatures in 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. “

The NI Water official also noted reports of vandalism at some sites,

Mr. Bergin continued: “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 (right) on how to stay safe at construction sites, treatment works and reservoirs urging young people and children to “say no way to unsafe play” and protect themselves from injury or fatality.

It is important that youngsters don’t climb on barriers and fences - these are there to protect them from serious injury and accidents when NI Water construction work is going on.

They should also be aware that trenches and manholes can be extremely dangerous and deep.