Tradies urged to batten down the hatches for holiday storms – and those on Santa’s naughty list

17 December 2020

FOLLOWING a weather event with impacts likened to a category-one cyclone, tradies are moving to protect unattended worksites from the risk of damage – and prevent their materials and tools from becoming unintended weapons in wild weather.

With Mother Nature dumping more than 900mm of rain on parts of the Southeast since Saturday and more storms on the radar, Master Builders Manager of Safety & Environment, Melanie Dawson said unattended worksites are at risk of damage during the holiday season.

“They can also pose a potential serious safety risk to surrounding people and property in the form of flying debris, if not properly prepared,” Mrs Dawson said.

“Scaffolding and formwork for example should be properly secured, while any loose roofing sheets, guttering and safety mesh should also be removed or secured to the structure with rope or strapping.”

Mrs Dawson said site security was also important to stop unauthorised people from accessing worksites and injuring themselves, as well as preventing opportunistic thieves stealing materials or tools, and vandals causing damage.

“While there’s been no recent spike in thefts that we’re aware of, Christmas is a typical time tradies and builders are targeted – and claims for theft of tools could reach as high as $30,000, especially if a trailer is stolen.

“Thieves also target electrical cabling and unsecured items like hot water systems, air-conditioning units and dishwashers inside unfinished homes – as well as tradies’ vehicles.

“Using measures like secure fencing, regular patrols and CCTV – and obviously not leaving keys in vehicles or machinery – can help stop potential thieves in their tracks.”

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