Floods can be caused by anything from burst pipes or faulty washing machines to natural disasters. Whatever the cause, it is important to be careful around flood waters.
Reasons to be careful around flood waters
Even minor flooding could cause accidents likely to result in more or less serious personal injuries. Wet flooring could cause injuries by slipping and if water levels reach a certain height, hidden obstacles or floating debris may also result in trips or falls.
If the flooding is near electrical outlets or power leads are submerged in the water, injury by electrocution is also a potential risk. Trying to move heavy objects (heavier than expected when wet) to drier ground could also result in manual handling accidents.
Ceilings and flooring damaged by flood water could also give rise to injuries by falling through flooring or by falling objects, masonry, etc.
More reasons to be careful around flood waters
In addition, major floods can result in water picking up sewage, chemicals (from factories, farms, and so on) and other potentially harmful substances.
Depending on the age of a property, structural damage to the building could also result in the release of asbestos fibres or lead dust. Then, of course, there is the risk of torn-down power lines and gas leaks causing electrocutions; injuries by explosions or carbon-monoxide poisoning.
Being careful around flood waters
In order to prevent slips, trips and falls, other potentially serious accidental injuries or infections by bacteria or other contaminants in flood water, it is essential to wait for water levels to drop and, if advised to do so, turn off gas and power supplies before entering flooded premises. When ready to enter, it is vital to wear protective equipment including:
- Rubber boots
- Strong, waterproof gloves
- Disposable respirators
Open windows to remove escaping gas and move about carefully to avoid slips and trips. Keep existing sores or cuts dry and watch them for signs of inflammation. If such signs (swelling, redness, oozing) develop, seek medical assistance. This also applies to new cuts, grazes or puncture wounds sustained during the flood or while cleaning up.
If you were injured by a slip, trip or fall; electrocution or other flood-related accident and your accident or the flood itself was caused by faulty equipment or someone else, you could be entitled to personal injury compensation. Call our helpline on 0333 500 0993 or 0800 689 0500 now for more information.
Date Published: December 9, 2015
Author: David Brown