“Merry Christmas” everyone! Christmas will be here in a couple of weeks and there are lots of activities going on which can act as distractions at work. It is often a challenge to stay focused at this time of year.
There is stress caused by activities outside of work, “Will that present we ordered online arrive on time?” “Will Uncle Vic behave at Christmas dinner?” There is the stress at work to complete everything before the holiday shutdown. Add into the mix the end of year functions with late nights and a few drinks and you can have a recipe for a safety disaster.
So, this is when it is especially important to take time for safety. You may find yourself at work but your thoughts may elsewhere with all the other plans and activities of Christmas. STOP, and take a few seconds to look around and focus on your surroundings. Look for the hazards around you. Is your ladder properly secured? Is your safety harness on correctly? Are you about to trip on something lying on the floor? Hazards do not go away because it is Christmas, only our awareness of the hazards goes away. When we ignore hazards, we tend to get injured.
Christmas injuries put extra stress on everyone. Worksafe New Zealand’s mission is “Everyone who goes to work comes home healthy and safe”. This is especially important at Christmas; everyone wants to be home and healthy for the holiday season. Imagine sitting in hospital rather than at the dinner table at Christmas because you fell off a roof or tripped over something. Injuries at Christmas seem to increase how many people are affected by an injury. How many people count on you each day to come home safely? Who will do the driving to see family if your arm is in a cast?
Every year ACC has about 80 claims from people injured by their tree.
Think of your safety as your Christmas present to yourself and your family. Taking a few seconds for safety may seem unimportant but it can be the most important few seconds; accidents happen quickly. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for your co-workers too.
When you go home to hang the decorations on the tree carry your safety messages home. Beware of your Christmas tree. That tree is not as innocent as it looks. Every year ACC has about 80 claims from people injured by their tree, usually while fixing stars, lights or other decorations to the higher branches. Always use a step ladder to put up the decorations and don't over-reach yourself.
“Merry Christmas” to everyone. Have a SAFE holiday.
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