Workplaces urged to make safety a priority these holidays
With Christmas less than a week away, SafeWork NSW is urging all businesses and workers across the State to make safety their top priority.
Head of SafeWork John Tansey said 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.
“With many school leavers and casual workers joining the workforce at this time of year, the desire to impress can lead to them taking risks that more experienced colleagues wouldn’t,” Mr Tansey said.
“The potential for injury is increased with the additional pressure of trying to complete jobs before the Christmas break. Workplaces need to make safety a priority so 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 Tansey said while many work throughout the festive season, some industries like construction shut down during Christmas and New Year, creating its 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.
The lead up to the festive period presents various pressures at work and the break can be a particularly difficult time for some due to other social reasons.
The following organisations provide crisis support and assistance:
- Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- beyondblue 1300 22 4636
- Headspace 1800 650 890
- Mensline 1300 789 978
- Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
- Mates in Construction 1300 642 111