Enjoy the office party but.....
28 November 2016 - 11:52
Tis the season to be jolly – and for many, it starts with an office party. Without wanting to be a party-pooper, this is a situation that can lead to all sorts of concerns for the health and safety officer. People might take the mickey out of what they think are unnecessary or extreme ‘elf ‘n’ safety regulations, but guidelines are in place for a very good reason – your very good health at work!
Many organizations are great at examining the causes of accidents and incidents and put in risk control measures that turn out to be really effective. But what do they do to prevent the incident in the first place?
For example, alcohol is usually banned from the workplace but at Christmas many firms relax that rule. Now, I am not saying don’t allow any fun, what I am saying is keep it sensible. Don’t plan the works do if people are meant to be in the following day. If that is not possible, make sure people realize that the following morning they could still be over the limit, so would not only not be fit for work but wouldn’t be able to drive to work either.
And too much alcohol can lead people astray; people (usually middle-age men) suddenly think they are gorgeous and everyone loves them. You know where I am going with this. Make sure you have clear rules on what is expected and get good HR advice.
Leaving aside the festivities of the next few weeks, it pays to take heed of sensible and seasoned health and safety regulations and to make sure your business’s H&S policy is in good shape for the year ahead.
- When did you last look at your risk assessments?
- When were your fire arrangements reviewed?
- When did you last have a safety meeting?
- When did you last look at your training plan?
This last point is really important. As in most industries, almost all incidents during the year are due to either active or passive human behaviour. Although incidents can sometimes be exacerbated by poor working conditions and/or poor systems of work, there is a fundamental need to change the way people think within business to ensure that not only are they carrying out their job safely, but to also give them the confidence to stop and say no to an unsafe situation that they are exposed to.
Consider a good quality behavioural safety programme; spend time developing your employees as they are your greatest asset.
These simple steps have worked and are still working in many businesses. Changing the mindset of a workforce can be a lengthy process, but it’s certainly not a difficult one. Commit to building a solid foundation and you will reap the benefits for many years to come – as well as enjoying a very good, safe office party!
If you need help developing an employee attitude and behaviour change programme, please contact Colin Nottage on: 07799 656303.
Please remember that:
4 people broke arms in cracker pulling incidents.
3 people suffered burns testing 9v batteries with their tongue.
58 people were injured using a sharp knife instead of a screwdriver.
148 people were injured last year by not removing pins from new shirts.
19 people have chocked in the last three years believing that tree decorations were chocolate.
31 people were injured by watering the Christmas tree while the fairy lights were still plugged in.
101 people since 1999 have had to have parts of broken plastic toys removed from the soles of their feet.
8 people cracked their skulls in 2006 after falling asleep while throwing up in the toilet.
43 people in the last two years were admitted to A&E wards in hospital after trying to open bottles with their teeth.
18 people suffered serious burns trying on a new jumper while they had a cigarette in their mouth.
25 hour safety
Have a very merry and safe Christmas and New Year.
With all best wishes from IMG