Christmas Doesn’t Mean that WHS Turns into Chaos!
When you think of the festive season, your mind will generally go to the joys of the time- a nice break, spending time with your family, and the fantastic food that you will feast on. For businesses however, it may feel like a mad rush to the finish line as you attempt to meet end of year quotas and to complete projects before they close for the year. Retail, travel and hospitality sectors will experience one of the busiest times of year. With the significant strains and stresses that the season brings, thoughts of workplace safety can go side-ward. Over the past decade, almost 25% of all workplace fatalities occur in the lead up to the silly season. So how do you make sure that your business is kept safe and everyone gets to go home for their holidays?
Take Time to Think in the Rush
With the holiday season being such a mad rush for many businesses, employee’s focuses will be more on what needs to get done, rather than how to keep themselves safe. The lack of concentration can lead to mistakes being made, and therefore injuries are at a higher risk. WorkCover Queensland says the majority of injury claims they receive over the season are usually from easily preventable incidents such as ladder injuries, slips and falls. While you may have a busy day ahead of you, simply stopping, thinking, assessing the risks and how to manage them before you begin a task can save you a lot more than time.
Casual Staff Need to Stay Safe Too!
Christmas casuals are perfect solutions for those industries that experience an influx in business during the holiday season. A lot of the time they are also used to relieve experienced, full time staff so they are able to go on annual leave. This leaves the business vulnerable, with staff members that are not familiar with the workplace as the majority. Because the businesses are hiring these staff members to help with the rush that in turn can mean that safety inductions can be rushed as well. Casual staff members should be trained in the same way that other staff members are, and should be encouraged to speak up if they are unsure of safety measures, or any risks that they see.
WHS Should Extends to Work Christmas Parties
Christmas functions are a great way to allow your staff to unwind, socialise and celebrate the year that has been. These Parties can be risk for employers though, especially when alcohol is permitted. Employers have a responsibility during work related Christmas functions to keep their employees safe and if there are WHS workplace incidents, including incidents of harassment or violence, then the employer can be liable. To avoid mishaps happening in the first place, make sure your employees are clear of the standards you expect during this event. Ensuring that alcohol is served responsibly and that food and non-alcoholic beverages are available are key to minimising risks further created by intoxication.
We hope you have a wonderful, safe Christmas!