Flood and Fast Water Risks in the workplace

Do you have workers clearing drains or maintaining critical infrastructure, or even traveling in remote regions? Each people are hurt or die trying to cross or play in flooded waterways.  If your  workers have reported work sites inundated with water and access to remote locations hampered by flood water have you got safe systems of work in place and have you provided critical information on ?

Flood water

Flood waters hide slippery surfaces, uneven ground, strong current, fences, vehicles, rocks, long grass, tree branches, sewerage, chemicals, sharp objects and electrical current Flood waters may contain animal including snakes, vehicles, tree branches where people can become entangled.

Storm drains

In urban areas large volumes of fast flowing water can come and go in minutes. Entrances to drains, pipe and grills are slippery and difficult to get out of in wet  conditions.

Dams and Weirs

Turbulent water around dams and weirs can knock people off their feet and recovering people from fast flowing water with poor visibility is extremely difficult

Flood water over roads, causeways

Water up to the car doors is enough to float a vehicle or can splash and stall the engine. Even gentle moving flood water can wash away the road from beneath a vehicle


  • Stay 3 meters back from the water’s edge
  • Never drive through flooded road ways wait until the water subsides.
  • When working in stormwater ensure that the spotters continuously monitors weather conditions. If water rises unexpectedly in a pipe evacuate the area.
  • If you become trapped in flood water
  • If you become trapped, stay calm.
  • Phone Triple Zero (000) or ask or signal others to call for your rescue.
  • If you’re in an isolated area, rescuers may take some time to reach you, so be patient. If you are caught in a vehicle, stay there until help arrives, if the water level goes down or a safe escape is possible.
  • Don’t enter the water if it can be avoided and stop others from entering it.
  • Even fully-equipped swiftwater technicians will only enter the water as a last

If you see someone in difficulty

Monitor the person and report the situation to emergency services. Listen to rescue authorities who are trained professionals and follow their instructions. If you have to assist the person, use extreme caution and do not enter the water. If possible use a tree branch, rope (never tie it to the person or yourself) or  other tools to reach the isolated person. Take care as fast flowing water can force the person further under the water.

Do you have similar safety risks in your workplace?

What action can you do to prevent workers being injured in the workplace

  1. Provide a safe work environment by ensuring controls are maintained