The holidays are right around the corner, and while the end of the year is always a great time to catch up with family and friends, it’s extra special this year after being apart from loved ones due to lockdowns and border restrictions dominating large parts of this year and last year.
While you enjoy the festive season, it’s important to remain vigilant in regard to workplace health and safety. The holiday period is a busy time of year for most industries, and this can result in added pressure and heightened risk of incidents and injuries due to a variety of factors such as:
- Increase in work volume/longer shifts
- Higher stress levels
- Increased likelihood of taking shortcuts
- Warmer weather, contributing to dehydration and fatigue
- Increased amount of social functions/events
- More traffic on roads
As things get busier, it is even more important to stop and report anything that may affect the health and safety of yourself and others in the workplace. If you don’t already know how to raise a report, make sure to find out the process before you might need to use it.
The following should be reported if they occur in your workplace:
- Incidents, including near misses
- Safety concerns within your workplace
- Injuries/impairments that occur outside of work hours that may impact your ability to perform your duties at work
Tips to staying safe
Be sure to make a report if something accident-related happens. Early notification plays an important role in eliminating or significantly reducing the impact of any work-related injury you sustain. It’s important to report all injuries, even if they seem minor. Minor injuries and near misses need to be reported as they can prevent someone else from incurring a major injury.
Drink ample water throughout the day; aiming for 6-8 glasses. If you’re working outside keeping up your fluid intake is even more important, particularly on hot days in direct sunlight.
Protect yourself by wearing sunscreen, long-sleeved shirts and pants where possible, sunglasses, and a hat that offers good shade. Work and rest in the shade as much as you can.
If you are scheduled to work the next day, make sure to limit alcohol consumption and you must never turn up to work under the influence of alcohol. Whether working or in your everyday life, make sure never to drink and drive.
When going to and from work, make sure to do so safely. If you’re driving, do so safely and if you’re catching public transport, don’t take unnecessary risks such as running across busy roads to catch a bus, tram or train, instead make sure to follow pedestrian traffic lights. Remember that the roads can be busier at this time of year, so allow a little extra time for the drive to work to ensure you arrive before your start time. People can often be more stressed in the approach to the holidays and that can impact people’s driving skills. It’s therefore important to pay special attention whilst driving at this time of the year to ensure you get to work and back home safely to spend the holidays with your family and friends.