Winter Safety Priority - Article

“I am also a rescue helicopter ambassador after having an accident myself nearly 10 years ago,” says Mike. “The chopper team was fast, effective, friendly and professional, and they saved and changed my life. I founded Training 4 Safety to train others regarding workplace safety. More than 2,000 Northlanders have undertaken Training 4 Safety courses and refreshers annually across dozens of disciplines every year, and demand continues to grow.”

Mike is reminding people to keep up their workplace safety through the winter months. “Over the past two years, there have been many Covid disruptions. It is easy to take your eye off the ball when undertaking work tasks, and that is when people get hurt. In the wintertime, there can be a whole range of bad weather, from lightning to heavy rainfall and strong winds. All these things together, or as individual events, can cause all sorts of chaos at home, work or on the roads." 

“Lightning strikes and thunderstorms can cause havoc with our power and other systems. If there is really bad weather, it is not a good idea to be outside in the middle of a big open space or up on the roof of your house doing maintenance. Staying inside is the safest option.” He urges people to look out for each other in floods. “We should all keep updated with warnings and information from Civil Defence Northland and weather forecasting services. You should never head out and check out the local river or areas where the water’s rising and could cause serious flooding.

“Never cross a swollen river, even if you have thoroughly researched all the safety measures in place, because there are too many unknown dangers. Failing to ensure these safety measures can result in terrible outcomes. I know of an incident recently where a motorist drove into very deep floodwaters. Their vehicle was a write- off, and they put their safety at great risk. People often underestimate the danger of high winds when driving as powerful gusts can easily knock people off course, which is why they should slow down and drive with extra caution. High-sided trucks and trailers are at extra risk because they are a bigger target. If you can delay travelling in bad weather, then keep off the roads and stay home. It only takes a moment of distraction for a car to cross the centre line and crash into an oncoming vehicle. None of us want that. We all know that roads can be dangerous at any time of the year, but the wet winter months create more danger and challenges for us as motorists, particularly frosts and surface water. That is why we should all check our vehicle condition and ensure our tyres are in good condition by checking our tread depth and air pressures.” 

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