Safety during floods

June 2016

WorkSafe Tasmania is encouraging Tasmanians to remain vigilant and continue to work safely during the current wet weather conditions.

Employers and workers involved in flood recovery activities must remember their obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012. These laws are in place to protect Tasmanians.

By being vigilant and maintaining safety during this difficult time, you can help reduce the risk of death, injury and illness to yourself, workers and others involved in clean-up and repair efforts.

When operating any machinery in the wet, consider the changed ground conditions which could increase the risk of roll over, bogging or loss of stability. Workers with the appropriate skills should operate plant and equipment such as chainsaws, tractors and quad bikes.

Quad bikes can be useful for clean-up tasks. Users are reminded to wear an appropriate helmet and be aware that mud and water may be concealing obstacles. People operating quad bikes should check to ensure their route is clear and avoid attempting to cross any flooded terrain.

Local councils, other organisations or employers involved in coordinating clean-up or recovery activities should assess the potential for hazardous conditions and/or exposures before attempting any activity in a flood affected area.

  1. Identify the hazards – information on common clean-up hazards and protective measures.
  2. Assess the level of risk – the likelihood of exposure to the hazard.
  3. Control the risk – identify and implement a control.
  4. Review the control measures – to ascertain the effectiveness of the control implemented.

Based on an initial assessment of hazards, it may be necessary to provide workers or volunteers with appropriate information, training, supervision or equipment so they can undertake clean-up activities safely.