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WorkSafe Victoria has issued a reminder about the importance of proper construction site safety in volatile weather, as high winds bear down on the state causing damage and destruction.

Earlier this week, Melbourne was ravaged by winds of more than 140 kilometres per hour, putting high demand on the State Emergency Service and leaving thousands without electricity.

Wind gusts of 142km/hour were recorded at Hogan Island on Wednesday, while winds at Mt Gellibrand, Mt Buller and Cape Nelson all exceeded 115km/hour according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

WorkSafe chief executive Denise Cosgrove has warned that construction sites can be perilous places during strong winds, as construction materials can become “deadly missiles” if not properly secured.

“Any object that isn’t properly secured is at risk when strong winds hit, and that means the people around them are at risk, too.” said Ms Cosgrove.

Builders, sub-contractors and outdoor workers have all been encouraged to ensure that any loose or otherwise potentially dangerous material is adequately braced or secured, to ensure their own safety and that of the general public.

Outdoor event organisers have also been reminded about their responsibilities in high wind conditions, as Victoria’s busy events calendar picks up during spring.

“The infrastructure associated with temporary events, such as marquees, portable seating, rides, bunting, flags and signage need to be assessed and properly secured to withstand strong winds, or any sudden wind changes,” said Ms Cosgrove.

The Victoria State Emergency Service has also issued a more general warning, advising people to keep their distance from fallen power lines, creeks and storm drains during this time.

It is recommended that Victorians avoid travelling through flood water – either by car, bike or on foot – during this period of volatile weather. Care should also be taken while driving to look out for any debris left on the road.

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