Broken arms from pulling Christmas crackers, pulled muscles from failing to stretch before the family cricket match, your mate’s dodgy skills on the BBQ causing upset stomachs – the hazards over the summer holidays are endless.
Accidents and injuries commonly happen around the home during the festive season and summer holidays. Each year thousands of people are injured while decorating their homes, or while on holidays. There is also an increased risk of hazards such as food poisoning, burns and home fires.
But we aren’t bringing this up to rain on your parade. At Programmed, we believe that all safety related accidents and injuries can be prevented. With proper planning and care, the whole family can join in the fun while staying safe and avoiding common dangers.
To make sure your family has a safe and happy holiday season, here are our top tips to help prevent accidents and injuries:
- The risk of falls increases during the festive season. Whether you’re putting up a Christmas tree, decorating the house or cleaning the gutters, always protect yourself against falls.
- If working off a ladder, make sure that the ladder has secure footing, is tied off and is supported.
- If you’re not going away, the holiday season provides the perfect opportunity to have work done on the family home. If hiring contractors such as electricians or plumbers, check they are qualified and have processes in place to manage any hazards.
Planning for emergencies
- Emergencies such as house fires are more common during the festive season with Christmas trees, lights, candles and other decorations presenting fire hazards. Make sure that you have a plan for responding to emergency situations and that all family members are familiar with the plan and key emergency contact details.
- Bush fires are also common in summer. Take the time to check fire blankets and extinguishers to make sure they are working. If you are camping, make sure you check local fire warnings.
- The warmer months also mean that there is an increased risk water-related incidents. Always keep a close eye on children around the water and if at the beach, always swim between the flags.
- If you are going away over summer, plan your journey before you set off. Make sure your car has been recently serviced and check the car (oil, water, etc.) to make sure it is safe to drive.
- Stay alert to your surroundings when driving during this busy time and always obey the road rules.
- Before undertaking any DIY jobs over the summer break, stop and think about what could go wrong and the best way to do the job safely.
- If you are helping family or friends, take five minutes to ask yourself the following questions before starting the task: What are we about to do? What could go wrong? How are we protected?
- Make sure everybody understands what the job involves and the tasks that they are responsible for.
Tools and equipment
- Before using any tools, equipment or home appliances, check that there has been no damage or deterioration since they were last used and that no parts are missing (i.e.guards).
- If you don’t have the correct tool for a job that needs to be done, borrow it from a neighbour or friend – improvising and using tools for purposes that they’re not designed for significantly increases the risk of injury!
- Also, make sure you know how the tool works and the safest way to operate it. If borrowing equipment from family or friends, make sure they give you the operating instructions and ask them to explain any safety features and show you the correct way to use it.
- When using electrical equipment over the holiday season, always turn off the equipment at the wall outlet before accessing any moving parts or removing the supply lead.
- Check the condition of leads and electrical tools before using them and avoid using them if they are damaged or have exposed wires.
- Whether celebrating at your home or visiting family or friends, it’s important to keep up your housekeeping and think carefully about where you are placing items on the floor or areas where people will be walking around.
- Keep floors clear of rubbish, toys or cords to prevent slips, trips and falls.
- Consider what could be dangerous to children and ensure these items are placed well out of reach.
- Manual handling is involved in many of the daily activities we carry out.
- When shopping for presents or carrying luggage for holidays, be mindful of the size and weight of these items.
- Ask a mate to give you a hand and don’t try and move large, awkward or heavy items on your own.
Looking after yourself
- As the end of the year fast approaches, it is okay to feel overwhelmed or a little burnt out. So be kind to yourself when you’re planning what you will do.
- It can also be a stressful time of year, with family get-togethers creating pressures for some or for others, it might be a lonely time. The Better Health channel has some good tips on managing different kinds of stress during the festive season.
- Make sure to take some time for yourself to unwind after the year, either by planning some fun activities at home or getting out and about with friends.
From everyone at Programmed, we wish you and yours a safe and happy summer holiday!
Programmed is a leading Staffing and Maintenance organisation, providing staffing, professional, technical, training and maintenance services across Australia and New Zealand with more than 20,000 employees supporting industry. Are you ready for your next career opportunity? Browse jobs here