As the holiday period approaches, workplace safety tends to take a backseat as people rush to finish jobs, temporary staff come into unfamiliar environments, and the roads fill with people.
WorkSafe Victoria’s statistics show that over the past decade, one in four workplace fatalities occurred in November and December.
At Brenniston, we’re urging all businesses to stay on top of employee safety this holiday season with the following recommendations:
Don’t rush, don’t push
If you’re trying to finish up a job before the year is over, safety measures need to be taken; cutting procedural corners could have serious consequences. Be wary of pushing overtime hours onto yourself or your employees. Working under stress and fatigue can cause workplace accidents and employee mental health issues.
Keep your employees safe
Brief temporary workers thoroughly on safety as you would all permanent employees. They will need to know where the first aid kits are located, if a defibrillator is on hand, who to contact in case of an emergency, and a full run-down of workplace hazards and risks. Revise safe manual handling techniques and ensure safety footwear and hi-vis clothing is worn in packing and dispatch areas.
On hot days keep work zones cool and staff well hydrated by providing an accessible water cooler and air-conditioning. Hydration powders and sunscreen should be readily available for outdoor workers and drivers.
Take care on the roads
If your work involves travel, expect delays and allow more time to get to and from jobs. Christmas is a high-risk time on the roads so it’s critical your car is stocked with an up-to-date First Aid Kit in case of a roadside emergency.
Create a safe end of year function
End of year wrap-ups are a great time to congratulate your team for their efforts throughout the year however a mix of holidays, excitement and excessive alcohol consumption can cause employees to act in an unsafe manner. Set out guidelines for employees when organising a function to ensure everyone has a safe - and fun - time.