1 December 2023 posted by Recovery Partners

As we approach the festive season, workplaces buzz with holiday cheer and the spirit of celebration. However, amidst the glittering decorations and joyful gatherings, it’s crucial not to overlook the importance of maintaining a safe and secure work environment. In this blog, we delve into the unique challenges that the Christmas and festive period brings to workplace safety. From the potential hazards of festive decorations to the importance of mental health support, we’ll share these insights to ensure a safe and enjoyable workplace during the holiday season. So, let’s unwrap these 10 workplace safety tips and foster a festive spirit that prioritizes the well-being of all employees.

#1 – Decorating Safety:

Ensure you don’t use any flammable or combustible decorations on Christmas trees and avoid blocking fire exists or emergency routes with decorations. 

#2 – Electrical Safety:

For safe workplace decorations, check Christmas lights for damage, use surge protectors to avoid overloading outlets, and remember to turn off lights when leaving. Download an Electrical Equiptment Procedure.

3# – Fire Extinguisher Awareness + First Aid Kit Accessibility:

Ensure the location of fire extinguishers is verified and easily accessible and conduct training sessions to ensure all responsible individuals are adequately prepared and trained. Similarly, make sure first aid kits are well-stocked and easily accessible to address any emergencies promptly. Appoint individuals trained in first aid to be present during events, enhancing the readiness to handle medical situations. Download First Aid Checklist and/or Fire Safety Checklist.

#4 – Food Handling Safety:

Practice safe food handling during workplace celebrations, being mindful of allergies and dietary restrictions when planning festive meals. Additionally, avoid leaving food exposed to the heat for extended periods, reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses and ensuring a safe and enjoyable environment for all.

#5 – Alcohol Consumption:

Establishing clear policies on alcohol consumption at workplace events is essential. Encourage responsible drinking among employees.

#6 – Gift Exchanges:

Set reasonable spending limits to prevent discomfort among employees. Additionally, remind participants to be mindful of cultural sensitivities when selecting and giving gifts.

#7 – Safe Work Parties:

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,

#8 – Temperature Regulation:

Ensure the workplace is adequately ventilated and cooled during hot weather and provide warm areas or appropriate clothing during cooler temperatures.

#9 – Mental Health Support:

Acknowledge that the holiday season may bring stress for some employees. Actively promote the accessibility of mental health resources and support services to encourage a supportive workplace environment.

#10 – Environmental Sustainability:

Promote environmentally friendly practices in your workplace celebrations by encouraging the recycling of decorations and waste. These initiatives align with workplace safety tips that aim to create a festive and enjoyable environment, all while prioritizing the well-being of employees and maintaining a safe working space.

Workplace Safety is EVERYONE’s responsibility.  Now is the time, if you are a good leader, to ensure all your workplace activities and worksites are safe. Ensure all workers, particularly in construction do not rush those tasks.  Short cuts can easily become the catalyst to a life-changing accident.

Other services that can benefit you include;

If you are interested in learning how you can support your business and employees more during this holiday period, get in touch with Recovery Partners today by calling 1300 OHS RTW (647 789) or email enquiries@rrp.com.au

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Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/