Fire & Emergency New Zealand

Hawke’s Bay residents urged to take care in working around silt

Hawke’s Bay residents urged to take care in working around silt

Residents of flood-impacted areas are being urged to not dig trenches through silt deposits.

Fire and Emergency’s Urban Search and Rescue Operations Manager Glenn Hudson said there have been instances of people digging trenches through silt, including some above head height, which creates a very dangerous situation.

As silt piles dry out or become more saturated with new rain fall, this can become very unstable.

It is imperative anyone working in these conditions, or around debris piles, follows these recommendations:

- Always work in pairs if able to do so. This should be imperative for depths above waist height.

- Always ensure someone is aware of the location where you intend to work.

- Keep a means of communication within arms’ reach at all times.

- Report hourly to a contact person to maintain a level of accountability.

- Be aware of residual water flows which may make silt deposit/debris piles unstable.

- Be watchful at all times for movement in debris/deposits as you work. Your operations will continuously destabilize the pile.

- Be aware of machinery working in close proximity as it may contribute to the instability of the pile.