Queensland ECEC services warned to be ready for summer of storms and floods
As Queensland anticipates the forecast La Nina heavy rainfall this summer, early childhood education and care (ECEC) services have been asked to ensure they prepare their facilities to cope with the weather, safeguarding especially against potential electrical safety issues.
State Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace encouraged business owners of all types to anticipate potential issues, and ensure that workplaces and outdoor areas are “clean and tidy in the first place”.
“Storm forecasts and warnings usually provide plenty of opportunity to prepare for the impacts of severe weather,” she said.
Once the most severe weather has passed, the Minister continued, “it’s important to assess potential risks like damaged electrical switchboards or asbestos before the clean-up starts.”
Worksafe Queensland offered the following tips to support services:
Before weather events
- Make sure drains and gutters are clear of debris
- Remove rubbish, tools and material which could become projectiles in strong winds.
After weather events
Make electrical safety a priority if your worksite has flooded:
- Don’t assume the power is off;
- Stay well away from water damaged switchboards – and warn others to do the same;
- If generators are needed to power essential equipment, run them outside because fumes can build up quickly in an enclosed area;
- Don’t connect generators to your property unless you have had a changeover switch fitted with the right generator socket;
- Have a licensed electrician check water-logged or submerged electrical appliances and equipment before using them;
- Watch out for asbestos materials in damaged buildings. If the building was built or renovated before 1990, it’s very likely there’ll be some asbestos;
- Don’t break anything up, as this can release dangerous fibres into the air;
- Seek advice from a licensed asbestos professional;
- Don’t use high pressure water blasters on asbestos materials such as a corrugated asbestos cement (super six roof). It’s illegal and can lead to a hefty fine and a repatriation bill.
More information about storm and flood recovery is available here.