Every year there are reports across the country of accidental fatalities and injuries related to large flood control pipes and culverts used in cities all across the nation to help control storm water run-off and excess water. Experts say that a few individuals a year are sucked into flood pipes where they are either severely injured or drown as they are carried for miles in the flowing water toward creeks and lakes where the pipes empty. These individuals are often children or youth playing near the open drain ways or professional rescuers attempting to help stranded civilians out of a flooded area.
While these fatalities are statistically somewhat rare, the fact is that they would be nearly 100 percent preventable according if proper safety precautions had been taken. Reports indicate that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has warned many American cities for the last twelve years of the dangers of open flood water drainage systems. NIOSH noted over a decade ago that installing grates could prevent such accidents. The advisement came after the tragic death of a Denver firefighter who was swept into a culvert and while trying to rescue a stranded woman. Few municipalities however, have taken the initiative to implement increased culvert safety tactics.
Engineers and water management groups continue to urge municipalities across the country to make establishing grates or fences around these large pipe openings a priority for their communities. As if the safety of a community was not enough, unprotected water ways can present a huge liability and financial drain for a municipality. Should a death of fatality occur in a community, a municipality and its public officials could potentially face allegations of negligence or failure to protect its citizens.
Public officials face a huge exposure to critique, criticism and inquiries into their professional conduct. At Professional Government Underwriters Inc., we specialize in protecting public officials and governing entities throughout the course of their civil servitude. We offer comprehensive Public Officials Liability insurance designed to protect municipal government entities such as cities, towns, townships, boroughs, villages, authorities, special service districts and commissions. Our Public Officials Liability insurance is also necessary for any individual who were, now are, or will be lawfully appointed officials of the public entity. To learn more about our services, contact us today.