Flood Damage Clean-up Safety Tips

JSEAsy floods safety tips

Floods in Australia

In Australia, there are three main types of flooding:

  • Riverine floods

     are the most common form of flooding in Australia. The two main contributors to riverine flooding are heavy rainfall and the lands capacity to absorb water. When the land becomes saturated, the excess water flows into river systems and can caused them to exceed their capacity. This causes the water the flow into the low-lying areas adjacent.

  • Flash floods

     can occur almost anywhere from short intense bursts of rainfall, making them one of the most dangerous forms of flooding.

  • Coastal floods

     happen when a low-pressure system or strong onshore winds force sea levels to rise above normal levels, creating a storm surge that can cause flooding of low-lying areas close to tidal waterways and foreshores

JSEAsy safety tips 23

Flood damage clean-up safety tips

  • Consider the hazards in your clean-up operation and ways to reduce them to an acceptable level

  • Be on the lookout for live power

    • Stay at least 10m away from fallen or broken powerlines

  • Use the right tool for the right job

    • Check the correct equipment is available and is in good working order
  • Do not perform task you are not competent with

    • Ensure that the people required to operate the equipment have the right skills and competencies
  • Be aware of slippery wet areas

    • Take care, don’t rush , Keep your eyes on the path
  • Be mindful of sharp objects hidden under mud and debris

    • Wear gloves
    • Any suspected services should be uncovered by hand digging and clearly marked to be visible to plant operators on site
  • Avoid manual handling injuries/ muscle strain – musculoskeletal disorders

    • Ensure correct manual handling procedures
    • If items are of a considerable length or weight, then ensure a 2 (or more) person lift and carry
    • Stand firmly in braced position before exerting force
    • Bend your knees
    • Do not overreach
    • Keep the load close to your body
  • Avoid back injuries

    • Bend at the knees
    • Bend knees, firmly grasp the load with the back slightly curved slowly raise by straitening the legs, keep the load as close as possible to the body
    • Never twist the back with a load
  • Avoid injury when cleaning up a with rake or shovel

    • Inspect rake or shovel for defects or damage (e.g., splintered, loose, bent, or cracked tool handles, loose connections, and damaged tines or blade)
    • Before shovelling, inspect the area for obstructions such as cables and pipes
    • Wear gloves
    • When shovelling, stand upright and bend your knees so your legs carry most of the load
    • Never twist your trunk when raking or moving a shovel load. Always turn your feet and body in the direction where you wish to pile debris or spread or drop the shovel load.
    • Never overextend your arms or shoulders to load a shovel
    • Lift the shovel load by straightening your legs
    • Keep your arms and elbows close to your body when handling a shovel load
    • Shovel loads should not be thrown above about 1200mm or further than about 900mm
    • When raking, stand upright and use the rake to pull debris or dirt towards you
    • When raking or shovelling for long periods, vary your arm and leg positions and movements
    • Never lay a garden rake down with the teeth pointing up – the teeth should always be pointing down
  • Be cautious of structural members unsecured/ possible collapse

    • Never stand or traverse under an unstable structure