Elf and Safety Issues To Be Aware Of In The Work Place

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Its December, and with Christmas just around the corner and the cold, damp winter season in full swing – we look at the Health and Safety issues your workplaces are bound to come across.

Weather

The HR and Health and Safety issues regarding winter weather are many! Lucky for you we have a whole blog dedicated to this topic! Take a look at Winter Weather: How To Keep Employees Safe When It Snows.

We’ve included a summary of the main points here:

Ensuring Your Workplace Is Well-Lit

It’s not just the front of your house and your Christmas tree that needs special lighting. The wintertime, particularly the month of December, see’s less day light per day than any other time of the year. Employers have a responsibility to ensure that premises are well lit. For example, external lighting is essential for workplaces that have outside space, such as warehouses with loading bays.

Employers can assess the quality of external lighting by simply asking their employees opinion or check for yourself whether you think the premises are sufficiently lit.

A poorly lit premise can be extremely dangerous as well as a nuisance for employees. It may prevent them from seeing hazards and can make it more difficult finding and getting into their cars. Furthermore, poorly lit premises will run the risk of attracting unsavoury characters.

Clear Wet and Decaying Leaves

As well as snow and ice, wet and decaying leaves pose a great risk to employees and members of the public. They pose a risk in two ways. First – they can become very slippy and thus pose a slip risk, and secondly – they may hide hazards on the path which may cause one to slip or trip over it. It is an employer’s duty to conduct a risk assessment of the premises to ensure that not wet and decaying leaves are posing a risk.

If possible, employers should attempt to remove the leaves whilst they are dry – this will prevent slippery leaves from sticking to the ground.

Christmas Decorations

Despite reports of Health and Safety scrooges banning workplaces from putting up decorations, this is widely untrue. There is nothing wrong with allowing employees to spice up the office atmosphere and dampen down the usual corporate atmosphere. However, there are potential Health and Safety risks with putting up decorations, and employers should ensure that when decorations are put up, it is done so safety.

Some tips for putting up decorations safely:

Christmas Trees In The Office

There are a variety of Health and Safety issues posed by your office Christmas tree. Although many may seem unlikely – they are still worth being aware of.

If you are displaying a real tree, then you need to ensure it is not dry. You can help to maintain its freshness by keeping the tree hydrated. This is essential because well-watered trees are less of a fire hazard, whereas a dry tree can be ignited very quickly.

Choosing the right location for your tree is also essential. You should ensure the tree stands at least 3 feet away from heat vents, heaters, radiators and fireplaces.

Another crucial tip is to avoid room corners. This is because fires that start in corners get hot quickly and spread faster than fires that start near a flat wall. Furthermore, they should be in a position that poses no risk of blocking the exits of the rooms.

Employers must also be careful about lights on their trees. Defective electrical lights are the biggest cause of Christmas tree fires. Tips for ensuring that your office does not fall victim to a fire caused by LED’s is take simple precautions such as connecting no more than the strands of lights per extension cord. You also need to be cautious with wires are chords off the tree and should be careful not to place them under rugs, across doorways or by heaters.  

If you require information on writing a Health and Safety policy or need support with conducting risk assessments, our Health and Safety Consultants are on hand to help. Call us today on 0845 2626 260 to book a free consultation.

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