Take care with our 10 point safety checklist
The build up to the holiday season is the busiest time of year for most businesses. Unfortunately, this brings with it higher risks caused by heavier workloads and tighter deadlines and can result in an increase in the chance of accidents and incidents.
According to WorkSafe Victoria, statistically the weeks leading up to the Christmas break incur the highest amount of workplace deaths than any other time of the year.
We have formatted our 10 point checklist to help you keep an eye on your safe working practices over this busy time of year.
1. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Time goes by so quickly and it may seem like only yesterday you checked your harnesses for wear and tear, but it is important that before any use, you ensure there is no fraying and that your equipment has no broken or missing parts. Harnesses must be adjusted to suit the clothing that you are wearing and, as they may not have been used since winter, you may need to tighten them to suit lighter summer clothing.
Have your workers been asked to perform additional tasks? Are their workloads heavier and are they working longer hours in the weeks preceding Christmas? While it is difficult to reduce the impact that the impending holidays may cause on your business you do need to protect your workers from the associated higher stress levels. Keep a vigilant eye out for signs of stress and strain before they become major issues. If workloads are extreme, organising temporary personnel may offer the required relief over this time.
3. Access & Fall Protection Equipment Audits
How recently have you done a height safety audit? With the summer months now upon us, air conditioning units and other roof top equipment may require maintenance checks, meaning personnel will need to access your roof tops. Are they doing so efficiency, effectively and most importantly as safely as possible? If you need a bit more assistance to determine if your working at heights practices are up to standard, why not conduct our 3 minute Height Safety Risk Calculator?
Overlooking training can be an all too familiar occurrence when you are busy and stretched to the max. Whether it be training for work at heights, instruction in the use of machinery or other practical information to assist workers performing their duties safely, now is not the time to omit giving your workers the appropriate training.
Often with increased workloads and shorter deadlines, workers may be tempted to take shortcuts to get the job done quicker. Failing to follow the normal safety practices and excluding vital steps towards ensuring the correct way of performing tasks can lead to serious incidents occurring.
The Australian summer can be brutal and of particular concern is the effect to those working at heights where conditions can be even more extreme. For information on staying safe in summer, read our article Hot weather tips to keep you safe.
7. External Influences
Yes, unfortunately it's true, money does make the world go around and Christmas and the additional expenses that it brings can cause financial hardship and strain on many families. Other factors, such as family problems and loneliness can also cause emotional turmoil to people and is often exacerbated at this time of year. Try to keep a check on how your workers are coping and if warranted consider providing assistance to those who may be in need.
Heavy workloads and tight deadlines can affect not just your workforce; it can also cause problems with your machinery. Increased production puts pressure on your machinery resulting in equipment failure or the requirement for maintenance. Sometimes in an effort to "get things out" serious faults can be overlooked and necessary repairs may not be conducted immediately as they would be in less busy times. Failure to take care of any problems with your machinery can mean you are placing your workers at risk of potential injuries.
Decorations can add a cheery outlook to the work environment and many companies choose to adorn their working areas with lighting, tinsel and other assorted decorations. Always ensure that all electrical equipment used is in good operational condition and that any power boards are not being overloaded. Also, don't forget to turn off electrical equipment when unattended.
Finally, while everyone wants to enjoy the festivities, if events are being conducted at the workplace, the employer has a Duty of Care to ensure that their workers are not putting themselves or others at risk. Alcohol can lower inhibitions and change behaviour in some people so it is important to monitor people's reactions and take appropriate action if necessary. Nobody wants that end of year party to result in tragic incidents or accidents.
From everyone at Sayfa, have a safe and enjoyable break.