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With the festive season approaching, making sure everyone remains safe becomes even more important. When people are most tired from the year that’s coming to an end, Australia typically sees a spike in workplace accidents and incidences. Serious incidences can leave families, friends, colleagues and communities devastated instead of celebrating the end to the year and the summer holidays.

Everyone is responsible for safety, but if you’re a leader, it’s is a great time to reflect on the roles and responsibilities of your managers, supervisors and employees to prioritise safety during this period. With increased trading hours and activity, coupled with closing deadlines, shortcuts might be taken that increase the chance of injury.

Regardless of your role, follow our 6 Christmas safety tips to stay safe during the festive season.

STAY SAFE TIP #1

Welcome to the silly season. With the dash to the Christmas holidays, you’re sure to have a full social calendar filled with end of year events. You might also be feeling the stress of tying projects up at work. By planning out the next few weeks, you can properly allocate time and leave a buffer for when things don’t go to plan. You’ll get visibility on what you need to do, by when, and know where you may be stretching yourself too thin. 

STAY SAFE TIP #2

While many workers appreciate the necessity of wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) while at work, even if you’re in a rush to get things finished, you must wear your personal protective equipment. Not wearing PPE can be catastrophic for both you and your employer. Some health problems take years of exposure to develop and by the time you understand the risk, it could be too late.

STAY SAFE TIP #3

A main reason for so many workplace incidences occurring in November and December is the rush most of us are in to complete things before year end. Because we’re under time pressure, we are more likely to cut corners. Cutting corners is workplace behaviour that can easily result in serious injury. By skipping or avoiding steps important to a task, in order to complete the task sooner, you can dramatically increase your safety risk. 

STAY SAFE TIP #4

Many people feel exhausted, just living their life. By asking for help, you can lighten your load a little. Asking for help when you need it delivers you with real benefits including relationship and network building, happiness giving, stress relief and overall better health and improved productivity. 

STAY SAFE TIP #5

Further to the theme of asking for help, it’s important to help each other. By working as a team, you can increase collaboration, lessen individual workloads, thus reducing individual stress, and improve productivity. Two or more people can share the problem solving, finishing off difficult tasks and brainstorm creative ideas.

STAY SAFE TIP #6

It’s the season of Christmas parties, and the best way to make sure everyone remains safe, is to be careful how you handle alcohol, make sure everyone has transport to get home safely, and everyone looks out for each other. You also need to make sure that any party venues are free of hazards that could lead to an accident or injury. 

If it’s a work function, Section 19 of the WHS Act requires employers to ‘take all reasonably practicable steps to protect the health and safety at work of the employer’s employees’. This includes undertaking risk assessments and putting suitable risk controls in place to reduce or eliminate any risk associated with the function or event. Employers should also set clear  boundaries for employee’s behaviour at work related functions, set clear start and finish times for functions and have developed and communicated an internal policy addressing the responsible consumption of alcohol.

If you’re a leader, read more about your WHS responsibilities when it comes to work social functions here.

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