Workplace Accidents Increase At Christmas

THE FESTIVE season can increase the risks of workplace accidents across nearly all industries according to a warning from workplace equipment supplier Slingsby which is urging both employers and employees to avoid falling victim to a Christmas accident this year.

The company, which supplies more than 35,000 workplace products across all industries including a wide range of health and safety related equipment, regularly receives orders from employers following accidents at this time of year.

Lee Wright, Marketing Director of Slingsby, says: “In the run up to Christmas many workplaces are open longer hours and recruit temporary workers which means there’s a sudden increase of new people who might not be familiar with an organisation’s working practices.  However it’s important to remember that temporary workers should receive exactly the same level of health and safety training as everyone else. 

“The Festive Season also brings a general feel-good factor to most workplaces as employees begin to relax and wind down for the Christmas holidays which can mean people take their eye off the ball when it comes to safety .  To compound matters lots of employers will also carry out maintenance work over the Christmas period which often leads to hazards and other dangers being present in workplaces at this time of year.”

Lee continues: “Even Christmas decorations are blamed for lots of accidents every year.  According to figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), approximately 1000 people are injured by Christmas trees every year.  These accidents usually occur when people are fixing stars, lights or other decorations to higher branches. 

“A further 350 people are injured as a result of electric shocks and burns from faulty fairy lights or because they fall when they are putting them up.  It’s always a good idea to test lights before putting them up and when it comes to decorating a workplace its important not to forget basic safety principles. 

“Standing on desks and chairs to reach ceilings and loose fairy light wires, running across floors and walkways should both definitely be avoided, especially when you consider that falls from height and trips are already two of the most common causes of workplace accidents. 

“As a result we regularly see sales of products such as stepladders, cable protectors and electrical multimeters increasing at this time of year in response to Christmas decorations coming out of storage.”

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