Make it an injury-free Christmas, urges Safework

Media Release | 23/12/2015

With just two days until Christmas, SafeWork NSW is urging all businesses and workers across the State to make it to Christmas injury-free.

SafeWork NSW Director, Regional & Response Operations, Tony Williams said this was the busiest time of the year for workers in many industries and urged everyone to make safety their top priority.

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

“With many school leavers and casual workers joining the workforce, 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.”

Mr Williams said the best way to prevent injuries was to ensure all workers received appropriate training and support.

“This is even more important for workers new to a job or industry,” he said.

“Other steps businesses can take 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 industries worked throughout the festive season, some industries, like the construction industry, shut down over Christmas and New Year, creating its own set of risks to be managed.

“During the Christmas and New Year shut down, construction sites must be adequately secured,” he said.

“Unsecured construction sites can pose a risk to the public, particularly children on school holidays.

“There are a number of things site controllers can do to make unattended sites safe, including ensuring power is off, blocking access to elevated floors, scaffolding, and ladders and storing plant and equipment, tools, chemicals and dangerous goods securely.

“They should also empty water drums, cover pits, trenches and pier holes, and erect appropriate signage, including an after-hours contact number.

“By following these simple steps, and minimising the risk of access by unauthorised individuals, site controllers can prevent a potential tragedy.”

For more information about construction site safety, security and fencing, visit www.safework.nsw.gov.au or call 13 10 50.

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