Workplaces urged to make safety a priority this Christmas

Published: 17 Dec 2021

Released by: SafeWork NSW


With Christmas just around the corner, SafeWork NSW is urging all businesses and workers across the state to make safety their top priority.

SafeWork NSW Executive Director of Compliance and Dispute Resolution, Tony Williams, said now is the busiest time of the year for many industries.

“The lead-up to Christmas is the most demanding and dangerous period of the year for many in the hospitality, transport, retail and construction industries,” Mr Williams said.

“With many school leavers and casual workers joining the workforce out of lockdown, the desire to impress can lead to risk-taking that more experienced colleagues wouldn’t take.

“Coupled with the additional pressure of trying to complete jobs before the Christmas break, the potential for injury is increased, so workplaces need to make safety a priority so that everyone makes it to Christmas injury-free.

“Other steps businesses can take to prevent injuries include ensuring adequate staffing levels, setting realistic workloads and work schedules, having contingency plans if work falls behind and providing regular rest breaks.

“By taking these steps we can ensure it is a happy and productive Christmas for all.”

Mr Williams added that while many work throughout the festive season, some industries like construction shut down over Christmas and New Year, creating their own set of risks to be managed.

“Construction sites must be adequately secured during shut down to keep the community, particularly curious children, safe during school holidays,” he said.

There are a number of things builders and developers can do to make their unattended sites safe and prevent a potential tragedy this Christmas including: 

  • ensure site perimeter fencing is secure and locked
  • switch off power to the site
  • clear debris
  • block access to elevated floors, scaffolding, and ladders
  • store plant and equipment, tools, chemicals and dangerous goods securely
  • empty water drums
  • erect appropriate signage, including an after-hours contact number
  • cover voids, pits, trenches and pier holes
  • cap all exposed reinforcement bars.

For more information about construction site safety, security, and fencing, visit the SafeWork NSW website.

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