Health and Safety advice in the aftermath of Storm Ophelia

Date published: 17 October 2017

HSENI has prepared the following advice for workplaces, including farms, in relation to any work planned to begin after Storm Ophelia has passed and the adverse weather conditions have subsided. It is essential that all clean up and repair works are appropriately assessed and carried out safely.

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The following areas require specific attention:

  • extreme care must be taken when working with wind fallen / damaged trees.  They may be unstable with the risk of crushing for people involved in cutting and removing them;
  • access onto fragile roofs (corrugated iron, asbestos, PVC skylights etc.) damaged during the storm should only be undertaken with appropriate equipment to prevent falls through the roof;
  • if electrical power lines have been blown down or if there are any exposed electrical conductors, these must not be approached and NIE should be contacted on 03457 643643;
  • scaffolding needs to be inspected by a competent person before being brought back into use:
  • cranes should be inspected for damage prior to being brought back into service in accordance with the manufacturer’s manual: and
  • excavations and partially completed structures should be inspected for strength and stability.

While it is not possible to detail every work related activity requiring attention as a result of storm damage, it is essential that employers should take account of the storm and the impact it may have had on work activities.

For further information please see HSENI’s website or contact the HSENI helpline on 0800 0320 121. 

Notes to editors: 

1. The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body, sponsored by the Department for the Economy.

2. HSENI is the lead body responsible for the promotion and enforcement of health and safety at work standards in Northern Ireland.

3. HSENI works closely with its co-regulators in the District Councils in enforcing health and safety standards and delivering health and safety services.

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