3 risks to safety this festive season

1. Home life

(9 December 2019) While “tis the season to be jolly”, the festive season can present a range of stressors at home, particularly for those dealing with loneliness, relationship problems and financial hardship. It’s important to be aware of common pressures associated with the holiday season, including:

  • strained relationships
  • social isolation during a time when others gather
  • financial stress associated with gifting and dining
  • event related stress such as organising the family dinner.

Conversation around the workplace may trigger staff in the lead up to and after the festive season. To help manage these risks and ensure you have a happy and productive workforce heading into 2020, you can:

  1. provide contact details for support services, or your Employee Assistance Program provider, that can be accessed during the holidays
  2. consider a price limit for any work-related gifting such as Kris Kringle to relieve financial pressure
  3. be aware of the signs of anxiety and depression and know how to support people
  4. learn more about creating a mentally healthy workplace.

2. Deadlines and stress

Due to holiday closures, many businesses find themselves working to tight deadlines to complete work. This can lead to an increase in injury risks, including:

  • rushing work, resulting in mistakes and greater exposure to safety hazards
  • work related stress
  • not taking the time to properly assess and control safety hazards.

To ensure a safe workplace leading up to the festive season, always make time for safety and take appropriate breaks during the day to avoid burnout.

3. Weather and heat

Now that we’ve hit summer, it’s important to proactively manage heat-related conditions such as heat stroke, dehydration and sunburn.

Ensure workers take regular breaks, drink plenty of water, use sun protection as recommended and, where possible, limit time outside or provide shade on site.