OHS and WHS responsibilities as the festive season kicks off

Making sure all workers stay safe this Christmas is the most important thing employers should focus on in the lead up to the festive season says WorkCover Queensland.

WorkCover Queensland executive Priority Industries, Barbara Martin said injury claims tend to rise in the lead up to Christmas.

"People rush to get everything done before Christmas. But after a busy year they're often already worn out and can easily lose concentration, which leads to mistakes and injuries," Martin said.

"During the holiday season, Work Cover often sees a spike in injury claims for simple but preventable accidents, like falling from ladders, slips, trips and falls.”

“If employers are intending to hire temporary workers to cover for employees on annual leave, it's important these workers receive full safety inductions and training if they are working with machinery.”

"Temporary workers are at most risk of injury at this time of year because they are hired for a specific purpose and timeframe and safety inductions may not always be a high priority," Martin said.

“When it comes to work Christmas parties, employers need to make sure workers understand what behaviour and conduct is acceptable and what the repercussions are for misconduct.”

Martin says reminding people in advance of company policies around acceptable behaviour and conduct during company functions is a great start.

Employers also have a responsibility to ensure the safety of all employees during work-related Christmas functions.

“Preparing for the work Christmas party will ensure both employers and workers has a safe and enjoyable time celebrating their achievements throughout the year.”

“It is important to remember that employers are legally responsible for workers' conduct at work-related events such as seminars, conferences, work functions and Christmas parties.”



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