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6th December 2023

Top 10 ‘Elf’ and Safety Tips at Christmas: Avoiding Common Pitfalls

employee putting up christmas decorations

As the festive season approaches, it’s important for businesses to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for employees and customers alike. Unfortunately, there are common areas where businesses tend to fall short during the Christmas period. In this blog post, we take a look at the top 10 health and safety fails at Christmas….

1. Failure to Treat External Areas for Winter Weather:

Many businesses overlook the need to create safe external areas during winter weather. This can lead to slippery surfaces and potential accidents. To avoid this, businesses should prioritise snow and ice removal, use grit or salt on walkways, and provide adequate signage to warn of slippery conditions or close some routes where necessary.

2. Inadequate Fire Safety Precautions:

During the Christmas period, businesses often decorate extensively, increasing the risk of fire hazards. It is crucial to ensure that fire exits are kept clear or decorations, trees and delivery parcels etc, fire extinguishers are accessible and regularly maintained, and staff are trained in fire safety procedures.

3. Poor Electrical Safety:

Christmas lights and decorations can overload electrical circuits and pose a fire risk. Businesses should regularly inspect and maintain electrical equipment the same as they would for any work equipment, avoid dodgy cheap items and only use certified and safe electrical decorations.

4. Insufficient Crowd Management:

For those retail clients open to customers, Christmas shopping and events attract large crowds, which can lead to overcrowding and potential safety hazards. Businesses should implement crowd control measures such as managing entry and exit points, providing clear signage, ticketing and ensuring adequate staff presence for crowd management.

5. Neglecting Manual Handling Practices:

Increased stock and merchandise during the Christmas period can put a strain on employees involved in manual handling tasks. Businesses should provide training on proper lifting techniques, use appropriate lifting equipment, and encourage regular breaks to prevent injuries.

6. Lack of Slip and Trip Prevention:

With increased foot traffic and festive decorations, slip and trip hazards become more prevalent. Businesses should regularly inspect and clean floors, use non-slip mats, and ensure that cables and decorations are properly secured and not obstructing walkways.

7. Unsafe Display of Christmas Trees and Decorations:

Improperly secured or overloaded Christmas trees and decorations can pose a risk of falling and causing injuries. Businesses should ensure that trees and decorations are securely anchored, avoid blocking emergency exits, and regularly inspect and maintain them.

8. Failure to Address Food Safety:

Food-related illnesses are a common concern during festive gatherings. Businesses should follow proper food handling and storage practices, maintain clean and hygienic food preparation areas, and regularly train staff on food safety measures.

9. Inadequate First Aid Provision:

During busy Christmas periods, the risk of accidents and injuries increases. Businesses should have trained first aiders on-site, well-stocked first aid kits, and clear procedures for reporting incidents and seeking medical assistance.

10. Lack of Staff Training and Awareness:

Lastly, businesses often overlook the importance of comprehensive health and safety training for employees during the Christmas season. Regular training sessions should cover all relevant safety procedures, emergency protocols, and any specific risks associated with the festive period.

Wishing you a joyful and accident free holiday season for a safe and prosperous 2024.

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