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Be safe during heavy rains

Source: WorkCover NSW

www.workcover.nsw.gov.au

WorkCover NSW is advising people to be careful when assessing damage and carrying out repair work caused by the recent flooding across parts of NSW.

WorkCover NSW Workplace Health and Safety Division Manager John Watson said areas particularly affected in NSW include those around the Lower Clarence Valley, much of the plains around Grafton and Maclean, and the low-lying areas of Lawrence, Maclean and Cowper.


"As flood activities continue in these areas and in Queensland, WorkCover NSW is working with other government agencies to help people affected by the flooding," Mr Watson said.


"WorkCover will continue to offer advice and provide extra information so people who carry out work are fully aware of the safety requirements during recovery, repair or rebuilding operations.


"Residents, business owners and volunteers need to take care when working with electrical equipment during any flooding and as part of the clean-up.


"People need to exercise caution when dealing with electrical equipment and asbestos-containing materials during the floods and clean-up period.


"Damaged wiring and electrical equipment can cause electrocution, shocks and fires which is why all flooded homes and commercial properties must be inspected by a licensed electrician before electricity can be reconnected," Mr Watson said.


"People using power generators need to make sure they are properly connected and any electrical appliances that have become wet should also be checked by an electrician before being used," Mr Watson said.


WorkCover has available a range of practical guidance and information to enable workers to work safely whilst dealing with asbestos, chemicals and working around heavy machinery and other equipment such as high pressure water jetting equipment and chain saws. , It is important that flood recovery work being carried out in difficult circumstances does not expose those involved to unnecessary risks. .


WorkCover has offices located at Tweed Heads, Ballina, Coffs Harbour and Tamworth. These offices are currently open and available to assist locals if needed.


"If you are an injured worker restricted by the floods and are unable to make medical appointments or other WorkCover commitments, WorkCover NSW can work with you to reschedule without affecting your compensation payments," Mr Watson said.


Information is available from the WorkCover Assistance Service on 13 10 50 or online at www.workcover.nsw.gov.au


For a full list of affected areas people should visit the SES website or call 132 500.


For information on local road closures people are advised to contact their local council. For changed traffic conditions on major roads people can also find information on the RTA's website or by calling 132 701.


WorkCover media contact: Brad Matthews 4321 4367