Elf & Safety risks to look out for this Christmas

 

First thing’s first, we need to clear up an urban myth that we think must have been started by the Grinch. There are no health & safety regulations that prevent companies from putting up Christmas Decorations. In fact, they will seldom stop you from doing anything. However, they do require you to take sensible and reasonable steps to consider the risks involved and then approach the task in a safe and practical manner.

 

Here are some of our top tips for ensuring a safe Christmas:

  • If you’re using hanging decorations then make sure that your staff are standing on appropriate and supervised steps to reach up high and they’re not climbing on desks or (worse still) on swivel chairs!
  • Be aware of fire risks, decorations attached to or near light fittings and heaters represent a real fire hazard.
  • Check the Christmas lights are safe and that wires haven’t become detached during storage before putting them up. 
  • Keep your Christmas tree, cables and other decorations out of walkways as they can be trip hazards.
  • Why not write a risk assessment? Often just going through this process alone will highlight potential issues.

Taking simple precautions can mean that you and your staff can celebrate Christmas safely and happily.

 

MISTLETOE AND WINE

Christmas office parties have been a bit different in recent times. It is quite common for employers to pay or contribute towards a Christmas lunch or party for their staff. Unfortunately, after a few drinks inhibitions can be lowered and exposed emotions can lead to awkward situations. You can still have a great time but remember;

  • Your staff party is merely an extension to your normal workplace and therefore the same rules apply to both employer and employees
  • If you’re having a lunchtime ‘do’ then staff shouldn’t be returning to use machinery or driving if they’ve been drinking alcohol
  • Be mindful of young staff who may be encouraged into drinking alcohol and think of how people are going to get home
  • Also remember that most cold and flu-like viruses spread much easier in close contact. Staff should not attend ‘so as not to miss out’ if they feel unwell.

 

Christmas is not just about enjoyment – it’s also about looking after one another. If you need help with any ‘elf and safety’ or HR issues resulting from festivities going awry, or any other reason, then do contact us!


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