Christmas brings awareness of OHS for construction and mining sectors

The Christmas break is steam rolling towards all of us, and for many this is a time to relax and unwind but there are industries in Australia that can be more affected by stress and strains in the lead up to Christmas.

According to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, construction and mining workers are particularly prone to stress and the lead up to Christmas can also see a spike in workplace injuries for a number of reasons.

MATES in Construction have recently published suggestions for workers who may find themselves in a stressful situation in the lead up or during the Christmas/New Year period.

  • Get out and mix with others if you are alone. Linking up with others and getting together to make things happen can be beneficial.
  • Do something for others less fortunate by volunteering to help charities/homeless people
  • For religious, simply attending the local church for Christmas services may help.

Mates in Construction operations manager John Brady said workers have an important role in supporting mates who may be doing it tough during this time of the year. They suggest the following:

  • If you know this is the first Christmas for a mate without a loved one, or without children due to relationship breakdown, or other stressful events, it’s good to make contacts with them to check they are okay
  • Changes in normal behaviour for a mate is also a clue that all is not right with them – once again it’s good to check in with them
  • Trust your gut instinct – if you feel a mate is not doing so well you are probably right – tell them you sense things are not right and see if you can offer support.

WorkCover Queensland customer group executive Melanie Stojanovic said claims for workplace injuries usually rise in the lead up to Christmas.

“We think people are getting worn out towards the end of the year, and they don’t concentrate as much, which leads to mistakes,” said Stojanovic.

“There’s also the possibility that in a rush to finish off tasks leading up to the end of the year, people again let concentration and mistakes happen.

“We seem to get a lot of simple accidents, such as slips, trips and falls around this time of the year,” said Stojanovic.

“There are also the outside stressors that occur at this time of the year, with Christmas parties, concerts and end of year school and sporting break up events for children, which people might be thinking about, or rushing off to get to.”


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