Changing weather patterns could have dramatic consequences for complacent property owners and councils, according to experts.
Speaking at the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA) Risk Conference in Melbourne, a number of key figures gave presentations on just how the mix of extreme precipitation and drought combined with decreased attention from authorities to potentially result in dangerous structural changes.
The conference aimed to provide attendees with critical insights into developing trends in risk management.
Principal research scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research Kevin Hennessy spoke on meteorological shifts and their impact on property.
Hennessy asserted that the usual patterns of heat waves, cold fronts and rainfall have undergone a "redistribution" in recent times.
The different weather conditions could impact on properties, causing structural changes due to shifts in land as well as structural damages from extremes in wind or hail.
Stephen Fontana, Victoria's assistant police commissioner, said that it was up to community leaders to ensure the safety of the local population.
Measures suggested by other speakers included promoting levels of awareness of local risks, conducting regular inspections and upgrading safety protocols in a proactive manner.
Natural disasters were also covered by the panels, with the ABC's risk manager Kylie McKiernan detailing the processes used by the broadcasting corporation to minimise the potential for injury.
While the dangers of floods and cyclones were covered, more mundane topics were investigated as well, including basic office safety checks, building upgrades and the responsibility of facility heads to ensure the safety of their workers as well as members of the general public.
The importance of these policy-based tasks is highlighted by the number of personal injuries reported, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing the latest figures had 822 people die from exposure to harmful substances, 565 people from low-level falls and 229 from accidental drownings in 2000.
In Australia, many people are unaware that they may be able to claim compensation in the event of an accident and may do well to consult with a personal injury lawyer.
This may be because public liability compensation is available for such a wide range of events, including falls from slippery floors, tripping over loose debris or equipment and even covers damage suffered as a result of faulty workmanship.
Obtaining trusted legal advice from an accredited source – such as an experienced compensation lawyer – can help to make a difference in maximising a payout.